President Trump clarifies position on FISA after tweet expressing surveillance concerns

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Dershowitz interview on "witch hunt" a "must watch" Comey after Trump tweet: Federal Bureau of Investigation is honest, strong, independent Former ethics director: Trump's tweet on Flynn would have ended past administrations MORE on Thursday defended a key provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) ahead of a House vote on whether to reauthorize it.

President Trump sent mixed signals on a major surveillance program Thursday morning, first questioning his administration's position on the FISA program after seeing a segment on Fox News and then seeming to reverse course and urge legislators to approve the reauthorization 90 minutes later.

Trump initially said on Twitter that the surveillance program, first created in secret after the September 11, 2001, attacks and later legally authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, had been used against him but later said it was needed. The national intelligence director announced the specifics of those changes Thursday as the House was voting.

In a tweet, Trump linked the FISA program that his White House supports to the dossier that alleges his campaign had ties to Russian Federation, catching aides and Capitol Hill officials off guard.

Phones at the White House began ringing nearly immediately after Trump wrote at 7:33 a.m. ET that the FISA program up for reauthorization in the House on Thursday may have been used to "badly surveil" his campaign.

More than an hour later, he reversed himself, saying "today's vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land".

"A vote for this (Nunes) bill is a vote against the Fourth Amendment", said Jason Pye, FreedomWorks' vice president of legislative affairs.

"Mr. President, this is not the way to go", he said at 6:47 a.m. ET.

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The White House did not immediately respond to a request to clarify Trump's tweet but he posted a follow-up less than two hours later, after speaking on the phone with House Republican leader Paul Ryan. "Spying is valid to find the foreign agents among us". In a tweet Sen.

That's the section of the law the House voted today to extend-it's set to expire next Friday, and the Trump administration has argued that renewing it is critical to national security.

Paul suggested during an appearance Thursday on NBC's "Morning Joe" that he may have helped influence the president's thinking in recent conversations. After those disclosures, the government declassified information about the programs and began publishing annual transparency reports about the use of the surveillance tools.

But a coalition of 44 diverse groups from the liberal ACLU to the conservative FreedomWorks opposed Nunes' bill and supported the Amash-Lofgren legislation.

The White House supported the bill passed by the House on Thursday.

"I do think we need more time to work on this bill and I think that was only underscored this morning by the contradictory statements coming out of the administration", he said, calling for "more time to discuss this with our members". NBC News reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked for a delay as well.

Supporters of the bill were furious with the Presidential whiplash over FISA.