Sen. Angus King (I-ME), who took office this year, said Monday that he only “knew generally about the outlines” of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, but was hardly surprised by the recent revelations.
“Well, I wasn’t fully briefed. I’ve been briefed on a number of programs. As you mentioned, I’ve only been here since January,” King told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. “We’ve been looking at Syria and North Korea and satellite intelligence and a lot of different intelligence programs. I knew generally about the outlines of this program, not the details. But, Chuck, this program was just re-authorized by the Congress in December of 2012. And there was discussion about it, the information was available to all senators. I was with a senator on Thursday who basically — and he’s a guy who’s been skeptical of this — and he said, ‘Look, we knew about this and people did have an opportunity to debate it.'”
King added: “I knew the outlines of it and I certainly wasn’t shocked by it.”
The independent senator stressed the importance of striking a balance between national security priorities and privacy considerations.