Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is under fire for statements he made before Congress that suggested he had no knowledge about federal government programs that collected data on millions of Americans’ phone calls and Internet activities.
In March, Clapper said at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he was not aware that the National Security Agency was involved in such large-scale efforts.
The questioning of Clapper’s statements follow blockbuster news last week that the federal government has since 9/11 been logging millions, perhaps billions, of calls and Internet activities and as the NSA’s top official goes before the same Senate committee for a closed-door briefing on the issue.
“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Oregon Republican Sen. Ron Wyden asked Clapper at the March 12 hearing.
“No, sir,” Clapper responded.
“It does not?” Wyden pressed.
Clapper recanted and said: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect — but not wittingly.”
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