Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) emerged as one of the most notable progressive defenders of the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance programs on Monday when he expressed a “high level of confidence” that the federal government’s collection of phone and Internet data has been effective in thwarting terrorism.
“I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people,” Franken told Minneapolis-based CBS affiliate WCCO. The junior Minnesota senator, who’s only been in the Senate since 2009, said he was “was very well aware of” the surveillance programs and was not surprised by a recent slate of bombshell reports by both The Guardian and The Washington Post.
“I have a high level of confidence that this is used to protect us and I know that it has been successful in preventing terrorism,” Franken said.
Watch WCCO’s interview with Franken: