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PING-PONG -- An example of Ur point. . . *PIC*

Posted By: LongGone
Date: Thursday - January 11,2018 17:28

(WashPost) At 6:46 Thursday morning, Andrew Napolitano — a Fox News Channel personality and supporter of President Trump — opined about a critical government surveillance program on “Fox & Friends,” the show that is part alarm clock, part unofficial briefing for the commander in chief.

“I’m scratching my head,” Napolitano said, referring to Thursday’s House vote to reauthorize a key part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. “I don’t understand why Donald Trump is in favor of this.”

And then, just 47 minutes later, Trump was no longer in favor of the bill that his own White House had been championing. In a tweet, the president quoted verbatim the Fox headline from Napolitano’s appearance and suggested that the FISA law had been used by the Obama administration to “so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign.”

The presidential decree — a mere 40 words — set off a mad scramble across Washington.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) spent 30 minutes on the phone with the president explaining the differences between domestic and foreign surveillance, as many fellow Republicans reacted in disbelief and befuddlement. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly also directly intervened with Trump, reiterating the program’s importance before traveling to the Capitol, where he parried questions from confused lawmakers.

A presidential correction came 101 minutes after the initial tweet. The second missive — an explanation perhaps as much for Trump himself as for anybody else — stated that “today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land.”

“We need it!” Trump concluded in his second Twitter message. “Get smart!”

The confusion — less than two hours in all — sent members of Congress reeling, the president’s staff scrambling and was a fresh reminder of how Trump’s haphazard impulses can undermine his own administration and upend the daily workings of the federal government.

“The president’s ping-pong on attitudes toward the FISA renewal suggests to me that he doesn’t fully understand the issue, which is complicated even for experts to understand,” said John E. McLaughlin, a former head of the CIA. “For the intelligence community, it is yet another signal that the president is not fully attuned to how they operate and how carefully they stay within the law.”

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