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Libertarian Gary Johnson: I'd eliminate NSA, IRS if elected

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson says he would abolish the National Security Agency (NSA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal agencies if elected.

In an interview with The Hill on Monday, Johnson said he would sign an executive order as president eliminating the NSA, which sparked controversy with its domestic surveillance programs.

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Johnson promised to turn “the NSA satellites away from you and I as citizens of the United States.”

"The NSA is a complete executive order as it is under [President Harry] Truman,” Johnson said. "We could turn those satellites on what is supposed to be the enemy. The fact that they’re pointed on us right now, doesn’t that cause everyone a bit of concern? It should. Look, there’s due process for spying, but due process is not blanket collection of all of our data."

Asked whether he could actually eliminate the NSA simply through executive order, Johnson responded: "Apparently. I’m waiting for someone to prove me wrong. This is what I’ve been told.”

Johnson also said he would eliminate the IRS and lower taxes.

"If I could wave a magic wand, we would eliminate income tax; we would eliminate corporate tax; we would abolish the IRS; and we could replace all of it with one federal consumption tax,” Johnson said.

"If we had zero corporate tax in this country, tens of millions of jobs would get created in this country for no other reason,” he added.

Johnson also suggested he would eliminate numerous other federal agencies — including the Department of Commerce, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Department of Education — if presented with legislation to do so.

"You can’t eliminate [just] any federal agency [through executive order], but as president of the United States, I’ll sign legislation to eliminate any federal agency that they present me with,” Johnson said.

"Any one," he continued. "Any of them.

"Count on me to sign on to that,” he insisted.

Johnson said the Commerce Department fuels "crony capitalism," which he called “all about giving those that have money more money, as opposed to leveling the playing field.”