Comey urges reauthorization of FISA provision ahead of House vote

Comey urges reauthorization of FISA provision ahead of House vote
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Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGrassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law Protecting the special counsel is an American duty Bannon likely to meet next week with Mueller: report MORE on Thursday defended a key provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ahead of a House vote on whether to reauthorize it.

"Thoughtful leaders on both sides of the aisle know FISA section 702 is a vital and carefully overseen tool to protect this country," Comey, who was fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE last year, wrote on Twitter.

The provision in question — known as Section 702 — allows the National Security Agency to collect the communications of foreigners abroad without first obtaining an individual warrant, even if U.S. citizens are included in the exchanges.

The House is set to vote Thursday on whether to reauthorize the provision, which advocates say is a vital national security tool. Critics, on the other hand, say it allows the government to skirt constitutional protections.

Comey's defense of the provision came shortly after Trump appeared critical of the provision in a tweet, saying that FISA's Section 702 may have been used by the government to improperly spy on his presidential campaign.  

The president's tweet appeared at odds with the official position of the White House, which has called for the provision to be reauthorized. 

In a follow-up tweet, Trump said the reauthorization vote is "about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land" and that it is necessary to safeguard U.S. national security.