The new claim comes months after the initial explanation.
Clapper told The Daily Beast that he simply misunderstood Wyden’s question. At the time of the hearing last March, Congress had just finished
consideration of a bill to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act (FISA). Section 702 of that legislation gives the National Security
Agency the authority to collect the electronic communications of
non-U.S. persons. In his question, Wyden asked initially if the United
States had collected “dossiers” on American citizens and referred to an
answer to this question by then NSA director, Keith Alexander.
“I was not even thinking of what he was asking about, which is of course we now all know as section 215 of the Patriot Act
governing the acquisition and storage of telephony business records
metadata,” Clapper said.
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