FISA Act Renewal in Doubt After Trump Tweet

Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma listen at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. The Trump adm

Hours after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement expressing support for FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, President Donald Trump tweeted his disapproval, directly contradicting the official White House position.

It was legally authorised in 2008 by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

As Baier discussed the difference in Trump's tweets with Sandra Smith, he noted that he also noted that the president's statement contained several inaccuracies about the program.

Although controversial, officials from Democratic and Republican administrations have argued the eavesdropping tool is vital to counterterrorism and counterespionage efforts and has saved lives - an argument echoed by Trump's own White House.

Today in Congress, privacy reform faced a significant setback as the House voted 256 to 164 to extend a controversial piece of legislation that provides for a warrantless surveillance program that at times targets American citizens. It would require investigators to get a warrant to look at Americans' information, but only after the government has started an investigation.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Mich.) tweeted Wednesday: "As soon as tomorrow [Thursday], Congress will vote to expand a warrantless surveillance program". Rand Paul, R-Ky., has vowed to filibuster the legislation passed by the House, but the Senate is ultimately expected to approve the bill.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump called into question his own administration's position on the reauthorization of a program that allows the government to conduct foreign surveillance on USA soil, also known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. The amendment failed to pass by a vote of 183 to 233.

The night before the House vote, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement strongly opposing an amendment that would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation to get a court order before searching for and reading Americans' emails and messages swept up in surveillance of foreigners' communications.

"With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land".

The White House supported the bill passed by the House on Thursday. One of his tweets suggested that the foreign intelligence program was used to collect information that might have been used to taint his campaign.

On Wednesday evening, as it became clearer that passage was uncertain, House Republicans urged the White House to make clear its opposition to the alternative to FISA Act renewal.

The speaker also said lawmakers are making "good progress" on negotiations to raise budget caps - Congressional Republicans and Mr. Trump have asked for more money for defense spending.

"I can tell you, I've been on the intelligence committee for 17 years, the government has never said, never once said it needed 702 for typical crimes", Wyden said. Despite the fact that Section 702 explicitly prohibits the targeting of USA citizens and residents, the government has routinely engaged in these "backdoor searches". And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Intelligence Committee Democrat (who supports the bill), recommended it be temporarily pulled in response to Trump's "irresponsible" comments.

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