Trump slams NSA for deleting call records, calls it a ‘disgrace’

Trump slams NSA for deleting call records, calls it a ‘disgrace’
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE on Tuesday slammed the National Security Agency (NSA) for deleting scores of call records, calling it a “disgrace.”

The president cited recent revelations that the spy agency was forced to delete scores of call records it stores for foreign spying efforts because of “technical irregularities.”

Trump, who lashed out at the NSA on Twitter, also seemed to suggest that the intelligence collection errors contributed to the “witch hunt” against him — a term he regularly uses to refer to the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

“Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.  

The NSA disclosed late last week that it has been deleting all call detail records collected since 2015 because analysts discovered “technical irregularities” that resulted in the spy agency obtaining some records that it was not authorized to receive.

The NSA collects the call detail records for foreign intelligence purposes. The records, obtained from telecommunications providers, contain the numbers and time and duration of phone calls, but not the content of the calls themselves.

The statement from the NSA made no mention of the investigation into Russian interference. 

Trump has repeatedly derided special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s probe, which includes looking at whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow, as a “witch hunt.” Earlier this year, the president accused the FBI of improperly using an informant to “spy” on his campaign. 

The NSA was one of multiple U.S. intelligence agencies that concluded Moscow orchestrated an influence campaign in the 2016 presidential campaign. Russia’s goal, U.S. officials concluded in early 2017, was to undermine American democracy, damage Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE and help Trump win the election.

Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collusion between his campaign and Russia. Mueller has charged former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit George Will charges that Trump colluded with Putin Mueller releases list of more than 500 pieces of evidence against Manafort MORE with financial related crimes from before his time on the campaign and indicted several Russians in an elaborate plot to use social media to influence the election. The special counsel has not unveiled any charges related to the collusion question.