Sen. Merkley: Obama Took NSA Data Collection ‘Very Lightly’ (VIDEO)

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on Friday criticized President Barack Obama’s response to the recently publicized National Security Agency phone and Internet data surveillance programs.

“There are several parts to this that the president glossed over,” Merkley told MSNBC after Obama spoke.

The Oregon senator said Obama took the data collection “very lightly.” In response to the president’s claims that the appropriate Senate Intelligence Committees were briefed on the NSA programs, Merkley said he had to seek out “special permission” to learn about the intelligence initiatives because that information was not freely available. 

Merkley then found the NSA intelligence gathering “so out of sync with the law” that he thought it merited public disclosure.  

“There was a broad vacuum sweeping up data across America,” he added.

Watch:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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