Perhaps Nadler Was Confused
Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) seems to be backing away from his assertion that the contents of a phone call could be accessed without a warrant if an analyst thinks it is necessary.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air updated his post on Nadler's startling claim.
Did the NSA really say in a classified briefing that it can listen in on calls without a warrant, or did Nadler simply get confused? Here’s his new statement to BuzzFeed:
“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.”
Read the transcript of his exchange with Mueller to see where he erred. The NSA told him that they could get “specific information” about a suspicious phone number without a FISA warrant. Nadler somehow took that to mean that they could tap that phone number and listen in. As Kevin Drum and Julian Sanchez noted last night, though, “specific information” may simply have meant metadata and phone records for the number, not the actual contents of phone calls. To actually tap a line, they need FISA approval. That’s what Mueller was trying to tell him.