Trump tweets spark confusion ahead of FISA vote

Trump tweets spark confusion ahead of FISA vote

On Thursday morning, the USA president tweeted that the programme had been used by the Obama administration to "so badly surveil and abuse the Trump campaign".

The House is voting Thursday on possible changes to the legislation, and the Senate must also take action. Vega followed up by asking what Trump meant about how his 2016 campaign was "so badly surveilled and abused" under FISA during the election.

Shortly after, Trump said the bill "is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!" he said in a post.

The ACLU characterized House leadership as having "caved to irresponsible fearmongering from the intelligence agencies", calling out House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for acting "in direct opposition to the interests of their constituents to be free from warrantless government spying". He suggested that a vote on the bill should be delayed until the White House's position can be ascertained.

Republicans have long raised concerns that the dossier, written by a British spy and funded in part by the Democratic National Committee, was used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as justification to secure a FISA warrant and monitor members of the Trump campaign over concerns of collusion with Russian officials.

The amendment, proposed by Michigan Republican Justin Amash, would have required that the government get a warrant before looking through a surveillance database for information on Americans.

The apparently contradictory messages caused confusion in Washington ahead of the vote and reportedly prompted a telephone call from House Speaker Paul Ryan to urge Trump to maintain his previously stated support for the bill after he sent his first tweet.

North Missouri Congressman Sam Graves voted in favor of the measure, as did Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, who represents Northeast Kansas.

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The FISA Amendment Reauthorization Act passed by the House fails this test.

What is the FISA Act, and what's Section 702?

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.

In 1978, the court that began giving out those permission slips was consolidated into a single, purpose-made entity: the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Congress must preserve the ability to collect information that is actually necessary to guard against threats to our security, while also guarding the privacy of innocent Americans, which the framers understood was vital to American liberties.

On Thursday, White House cyber coordinator Rob Joyce said there have "been no cases of 702 used improperly for political purposes".

The House of Representatives instead passed legislation reauthorizing the FISA in a 256-164 vote.

Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Amash's amendment would "clear and simple, disable Section 702, our most important national security tool".

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