>> On this vote>> Republicans scramble to save an Internet surveillance program after President Trump implied it had been used to spy on his campaign. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where the House of Representatives just voted to keep a controversial Internet surveillance program that the Trump administration says is essential for national security.
Trump said on Twitter that it may have been used to quote surveil and abuse his presidential bid. The White House's top cyber official tells Reuters that this actually isn't true. But yet again, trumps Twitter account is being used to confound his allies and opponents alike. Trumps early morning outbursts said, White House officials scrambling to assure Republican allies that the administration had not abruptly changed sides.
That issue was a national security agency program first made public by whistle blower Edward Snowden in 2013. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government to eavesdrop on emails and other Internet communications made by foreigners outside the United States. In the process, it can also scoop up messages from Americans.
Privacy advocates say the spooks should be forced to get a warrant for that. Trump himself clarified in a later Twitter message that the program should stay in place to keep track of, quote, foreign bad guys, saying, we need it.>> He has some very strong concerns about the Pfizer program more generally.
I'm not sure what the confusion is there.>> But the mixed messages from Trump gave Democrats an opening. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for the vote on the bill to be canceled. In the end, the House went ahead and voted 256 to 164 to keep the program as is.
The Senate is expected to keep the program in place as, well, but it's another example of Trump going off script and making life more difficult for his Republican allies on Capitol Hill.