Feinstein: ‘I Am Totally Opposed’ To Surveilling Allied Leaders

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October 28, 2013 1:03 p.m.

Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said Monday that she is “totally opposed” to surveilling allied leaders, amid reports that the National Security Agency has been monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other U.S. allies.

The revelations require a “total review of intelligence programs,” Feinstein said in a statement.

“Unlike NSA’s collection of phone records under a court order, it is clear to me that certain surveillance activities have been in effect for more than a decade and that the Senate Intelligence Committee was not satisfactorily informed,” she said. “Therefore our oversight needs to be strengthened and increased.”

Feinstein added that it was “a big problem” that President Obama was not aware of the surveillance. The administration has assured Feinstein that the surveillance would not continue, she said: “The White House has informed me that collection on our allies will not continue, which I support.”

“Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers. The president should be required to approve any collection of this sort.”

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