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Trump Signs Surveillance Law           01/20 09:58

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump on Friday signed a bill into law 
to renew a foreign intelligence surveillance program, announcing his action in 
the latest in a series of confusing tweets about the spy program.

   Trump's tweet on Jan. 11 created chaos in the House just before it voted to 
reauthorize what is known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence 
Surveillance Act. He linked the intelligence program to a dossier that alleges 
his presidential campaign had ties to Russia.

   That caused people to wonder if he didn't support the program that allows 
U.S. spy agencies to collect intelligence on foreign targets abroad.

   "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.

   Trump and other Republicans have alleged that Obama administration officials 
improperly shared the identities of Trump presidential transition team members 
mentioned in intelligence reports. Democrats say there is no evidence that 
happened.

   Shortly before the House vote, and after conferring with House Speaker Paul 
Ryan, Trump did an apparent about-face.

   "This vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign 
land," he tweeted. "We need it! Get smart!"

   In his tweet announcing that he has just signed the bill, Trump wrote: "This 
is NOT the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election. I will 
always do the right thing for our country and put the safety of the American 
people first!"

   There are no obvious links between the dossier Trump spoke of, which 
includes salacious but unsubstantiated allegations against him, and the 
reauthorization of the spying program, or between the program and Trump's 
oft-repeated claims that the Obama administration conducted surveillance on 
Trump Tower during the presidential campaign.


(KA)

 
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