June 7, 2017

WASHINGTON — In a New York Times op-ed published today, the Trump White House said it is backing a bill introduced yesterday by Sen. Cotton to permanently reauthorize Section 702 of the FISA Act, which allows the government to surveil Americans in contact with foreigners. The op-ed was signed by Thomas P. Bossert, homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Trump. This comes in anticipation of a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Section 702 this morning.

Neema Singh Guliani, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel, had the following reaction:

“After months of criticizing the government for allegedly spying on his presidential campaign, President Trump is now hypocritically endorsing a bill that would make permanent the NSA authority that is used to spy on Americans without a warrant.

“Further, only months after demanding information about his own unsubstantiated spying claims, his administration is failing to provide information about how many Americans are impacted by this surveillance authority.

“The government likely holds over a billion communications collected under Section 702, and it is long overdue for Congress to finally pass reforms to curb this invasion of Americans’ privacy.”

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