Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a leading defender of government surveillance programs, reacted with outrage when he found out the FBI had listened in on conversations between the Russian ambassador and a top Trump official.
“I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,” the California Republican told the Washington Post. “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”
Telephone conversations between Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak led to Flynn’s resignation.
The fact that communications from the Russian delegation in Washington are closely monitored should surprise no one. The FBI routinely uses the NSA’s eavesdropping techniques to monitor the delegation — for obvious intelligence and counterintelligence reasons — and as a former top intelligence official in the Obama administration, Flynn must have known that his conversation would be intercepted.
Yet after the news of Flynn’s resignation, several traditional surveillance defenders rushed to the defense of his privacy rights as an “American citizen.”
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