FBI Director Refuses to Say Whether President Trump is Being Spied On or Not
Chris Wray declined to answer a question on whether FBI or NSA are spying on Trump
FBI Director Chris Wray refused to answer a question on whether President Trump is currently being spied on by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the NSA.
When asked if the FBI or National Security Agency are currently collecting Donald Trump's phone conversations, Wray declined to respond.
Wray was charged the question by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) during a Senate committee hearing regarding national security issues.
Sen. Paul posted a video of the questioning on Twitter with a caption that read:
"Today I questioned FBI Director Wray on the domestic spying and government abuse of our data.
"The concern of us who want more control over what the government can do with our data is because as Madison said men are not angels.
"That's why we have the Constitution."
Today I questioned FBI Director Wray on the domestic spying and government abuse of our data. The concern of us who want more control over what the government can do with our data is because as Madison said men are not angels. That's why we have the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/nOmqoPp62J— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 10, 2018
The Kentucky Senator asked, “Do you think that it’s possible that the president’s conversations with international leaders are in the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] database?”
To which Wray responded, “I’m not sure there’s anything I could speak to in this setting.”
According to Law and Crime, Paul tweeted about the interaction immediately after the hearing:
🚨 The FBI Director just testified in the US Senate. I asked him if @realDonaldTrump phone conversations are getting collected in the FISA database. He wouldn't answer. Is NSA or FBI listening in on our President? We know bad actors exist within intel community. REFORM NEEDED NOW— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 10, 2018
Paul continued his line of inquiry:
"It’s been reported in the Washington Post about two years ago there were 1,500 times when the president–this is when Obama was president–was minimized meaning that, yes, you are gathering up so much information–you, the NSA, the intelligence community–that actually the president’s conversations are caught up in there.
"Do you think it’s possible that Congress–that members of Congress are in the FISA database if we talk to international leaders?"
Wray deflected again:
“Well, senator, I am quite confident that we are conducting ourselves in a manner consistent with the law and the Constitution that’s subject to extensive oversight,” he said.
“I don’t know that I can speak to every hypothetical about whether there have been [such] situations.”
Paul then asked Wray whether journalists’ conversations were being possibly being scooped up by the intelligence community’s vast spying apparatus simply because they write stories about people with “terrorist name[s]” in them.
Wray declined to answer again, saying, “I can’t speak to specific hypotheticals.”
At this point, however, Paul cut off the FBI director, noting, “The answer is yes.”
Paul then widened the question to include international business people–asking whether their conversations have ever been swept up in the FISA dragnet.
Wray again demurred.
As Paul’s time with Wray drew to a close, the libertarian-influenced senator spoke about the potential for abuse within the FISA system. Paul said:
"You’ve had people bringing their politics to work.
"The concern of us who want more control over what you do and how you look at data is, as Madison said, ‘men are not angels,’ that’s why we have the Constitution.
"That’s why we ask you to get a warrant.
"The information you’ve gathered in the foreign database is not constitutional in the sense that it’s gathered with no bar, there is no warrant, there is no constitutional matter to that data.
"And yet, you’re going to then use it on domestic crime.
"That has been our complaint for years and years and years."