Following up on his December threat to do so, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Thursday appeared to tweet a call for a filibuster against the House-passed renewal of the National Security Agency’s warrantless foreign national surveillance program, Section 702. According to his comments made to MSNBC News and President Donald Trump’s own tweets, Sen. Paul appears to be on the same page when it comes to 702: renew it, but reform it.
No American should have their right to privacy taken away! #FILIBUSTER
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 11, 2018
The bill which passed 256-164 will extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with a few small changes, reports The Hill, albeit not those proposed by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) which would have place new limits on what warrants warrantless surveillance of Americans.
If passed, Section 702 will be extended for six years, and also contains provisions to restart searches if a foreign target is mentioned in the collected communications of Americans – a sticking point for critics of the legislation.
The Senate is expected to vote before the program’s Jan. 19th expiration. President Trump has caused a Twitter doubletake after a 7:13 am tweet appearing to slam the legislation:
“‘House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.’ 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?”
Followed up almost exactly two hours later, with the 9:14 am tweet:
“With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!”
If the latest Tweet out of the Oval Office is anything to go by, then it appears President Trump will support the bill if Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster flounders. However, it Sen. Rand Paul and President Trump appear more or less on the same page per Paul’s remarks made to MSNBC:
Referring to President Trump, Paul told MSNBC, “In our discussion, he was encouraging me that this is his position, that he agrees with me on the position…”