Trump Makes Right Call on FISA

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from the Washington Examiner:

Trump rejects extension of surveillance law without FISA reforms in meeting with Republicans



President Trump told lawmakers that he will not support a long-term extension of key intelligence programs without reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Trump held a private meeting with Attorney General William Bar, Republican members of Congress, and GOP leadership on Tuesday about extending provisions of the USA Freedom Act. The meeting was focused on discussing certain provisions of the law that expire on March 15, including surveillance of lone-wolf terrorists, roving wiretaps, and a program that permits requests for metadata from phone records.

During the meeting, Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed support for the concept of a clean extension of the intelligence programs, sources told the Hill. However, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said the president didn’t agree and “pushed back very vigorously” on an extension without comprehensive FISA reforms.

“It was a spirited discussion. The president made it exceedingly clear that he will not accept a clean reauthorization … without real reform,” Paul said after the meeting. Republican aides confirmed that Trump told those at the meeting he wouldn’t support an extension without added reforms.

Earlier Tuesday, McConnell said before the huddle that he would support a short-term extension if Congress can’t find a way to pass a broader deal in Congress.

“My own preference is to extend these three or four expiring authorities … but there are differences among my members and among the Democrats on the way forward. Whether we can resolve those and pass new legislation is unclear. If we’re unable to resolve our differences, my preference would be for another extension,” he said.

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