White House Opposes Bipartisan FISA-Limiting Bill

The National Security Agency in Fort Meade Maryland

The National Security Agency in Fort Meade Maryland

Trump, who is known to watch Fox News while he is tweeting, posted his tweet that appeared to support limitations to the surveillance law, shortly after a Fox News legal analyst appealed directly to the president during a Thursday morning segment about the upcoming House vote.

The law gives USA intelligence agencies the power to spy on the electronic communications and phone calls of foreigners residing outside the United States to try to gather information about any terrorist plots or activities.

Thursday's final bill did include a new requirement that the information gained by spying agencies can't be used against Americans in criminal suits unless there's a warrant, although that doesn't prevent intelligence and law enforcement agencies from accessing to Americans communications.

The House passed the bill to reauthorize FISA with an important tweak.

Before the vote, Lieu authored an amendment to FISA law that would have allowed more oversight and required a FISA court authorize surveillance before the action is allowed to occur.

The bill still has to pass the upper chamber of Congress, where Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden are staunchly opposed.

Lawmakers will vote Thursday on a House bill to extend the government's chief foreign intelligence snooping program.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., echoed those sentiments, saying, "This issue is paramount in importance, difficult, and complex and all the president's doing is confusing the American public, which is really unfortunate for our national security". Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Trump spoke by phone between the president's two tweets, according to a senior Republican congressional aide.

"We have a real opportunity to get this passed in the House tomorrow", said Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican who's leading the coalition of liberals and conservatives. Congress members have repeatedly asked intelligence agencies to reveal how many Americans have had their data collected under the program, but the agencies have never provided an answer.

An illustration picture shows the logo of the U.S. National Security Agency on the display of an iPhone in Berlin, June 7, 2013. They are not using this data to prosecute Americans for tax evasion, they say - they are using it for terrorism cases.

From time to time, lawmakers have tried to push through warrants into the section, but Shackford noted that experts have explained that "the law was worded so that it applies only if you're a suspect of a crime". But the House voted Thursday to renew Section 702 for another six years in roughly its current form. He knows that and he put out something that I think clarified that.

President Donald Trump on Thursday took to Twitter to question the future of his government's premier domestic surveillance tool ahead of a key vote, only to make a spectacular U-turn an hour later. But top Democrats seized on the confusion, calling on Republican leaders to withdraw the bill from consideration "in light of the irresponsible and inherently contradictory messages coming out of the White House today", Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on the floor. His earlier tweet could give some wavering Republicans cover to defect and back the USA Rights amendment, while the fact that Trump is focusing on the issue could increase pressures on Democrats to vote against the White House.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats calls this foreign intelligence the "holy grail" that provides insight into the thinking and actions of US adversaries.

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