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Trump urges House to reauthorize NSA surveillance after ripping it in a tweet

Trump urges House to reauthorize NSA surveillance after ripping it in a tweet
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President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE on Thursday called for the House to renew the National Security Agency’s (NSA) controversial warrantless surveillance program even after expressing frustration over reports that the program had been used to spy on his campaign in 2016.

The House is headed for a close vote Thursday over whether to reauthorize the program, which has been criticized for the ease with which prosecutors can obtain warrants from a surveillance court to spy on Americans.

The White House has called for the program to be reauthorized, but the president lashed out at the program early Thursday. Trump’s allies have alleged that the FBI used a salacious opposition research memo detailing allegations of Trump-Russia collusion to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on his campaign and transition team.

But Trump followed up by saying that the program must be renewed as a means of keeping tabs on “foreign bad guys.”

Trump’s assertion that he “personally directed the fix to the unmasking process” is another wrinkle in the surveillance debate.

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The president earlier this week signed a memorandum instructing Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsExperts see 'unprecedented' increase in hackers targeting electric grid Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows MORE to come up with a new policy for the government in responding to requests from law enforcement officials seeking to “unmask” Americans in intelligence reports.

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Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had been unmasked in one such report.

Flynn had told Trump and Vice President Pence that he did not discuss sanctions with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. But an intelligence report leaked to The Washington Post indicated otherwise.

Flynn was fired and later pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Flynn is now cooperating with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s investigation into whether Trump officials had improper contacts with the Russians.