Reid On NSA Records: ‘Everyone Should Just Calm Down’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters Thursday the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records, recently reported by The Guardian, as part of counter-terrorism efforts are nothing new.

“Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn’t anything that’s brand new — it’s been going on for 7 years,” Reid said.

Reid said the program authorizing collection of meta-data on phone records has helped stop terrorist acts. He said senators will continue to review the law in that regard and work to make it better.

“Is the program perfect? Of course not,” he said.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), standing beside Reid, the Guardian article may be “an invitation for us to renew the conversation” about the parameters of NSA’s intelligence gathering powers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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