Trump Signs Bill Renewing Warrantless NSA Surveillance


US President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law to renew a controversial foreign intelligence surveillance programme.

"This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?" the presidential tweet said.

Without Mr Trump's signature, Section 702 had been set to expire on Friday, though intelligence officials had said the surveillance program could continue to operate until April.

Supporters of the surveillance program have repeatedly complained that issues such as unmasking have been conflated with Section 702.

Twenty-one of 49 Democrats supported the bill and seven Republicans opposed it. Sen.

The measure easily passed the US House of Representatives last week despite mixed signals posted on Twitter by Mr Trump and narrowly avoided a filibuster in the Senate earlier this week that split party lines.

56 Percent Say Don't Shut Down Government to Save DACA — CNN Poll
Vice President Mike Pence is also scheduled to leave Washington Friday evening for his three-country swing to the Middle East. The RNC is already branding it the " Schumer Shutdown ", placing the blame squarely on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer .

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to renew a critical foreign intelligence collection program dubbed the "holy grail" because it allows US spy agencies to conduct surveillance on foreign targets overseas. The intelligence community says the program is a critical tool in identifying and disrupting terror plots.

In March 2017, Trump claimed that then-President Barack Obama had spied on Trump Tower.

He fired out a similar tweet on Friday, saying it was not the same surveillance law that was - in his words - "so wrongly abused during the election". According to Robert Eatinger, former senior deputy general counsel the bill reauthorizes for six years and amends FISA Section 702 collection. "I will always do the right thing for our country and put the safety of the American people first!"

An hour later, after House Speaker Paul Ryan privately explained the importance of the bill to Trump, the president attempted to clarify his position.

"The bill he just signed allows the government to violate Americans' rights and makes the law worse in several ways", the ACLU said in a tweet. It also would require a warrant only in criminal investigations that are in their final stages.


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