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NSA revelations only 'the tip of the iceberg,' says Dem lawmaker

The federal surveillance programs revealed in media reports are just "the tip of the iceberg," a House Democrat said Wednesday.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) said lawmakers learned "significantly more" about the spy programs at the National Security Agency (NSA) during a briefing on Tuesday with counterterrorism officials. 

"What we learned in there," Sanchez said, "is significantly more than what is out in the media today."

Lawmakers are barred from revealing the classified information they receive in intelligence briefings, and Sanchez was careful not to specify what members might have learned about the NSA's work. 

"I can't speak to what we learned in there, and I don't know if there are other leaks, if there's more information somewhere, if somebody else is going to step up, but I will tell you that I believe it's the tip of the iceberg," she said.

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Sanchez's remarks on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" came a day after House lawmakers were briefed by national security officials on clandestine data collection programs. 

The briefing was meant to convince lawmakers that the surveillance programs are legal and necessary in fighting counterterrorism — an argument President Obama and other administration officials have made.

Lawmakers demanded the briefings after revelations last week about the NSA's collection of phone records and Internet data, and Sanchez said lawmakers were "astounded" by what they heard.

"I think it's just broader than most people even realize, and I think that's, in one way, what astounded most of us, too," Sanchez said of the briefing.

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