House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday defended President Trump’s morning tweet criticizing a bill to reauthorize a counterterrorism tool that GOP leaders were eager to pass.
Ryan, R-Wis., spoke to President Trump about the matter.
“We speak on an almost daily basis,” Ryan said when asked about the call.
Ryan said Trump was tweeting about the domestic surveillance provisions in the law, and not specifically about the legislation that the House was able to pass this morning.
That bill reauthorizes Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows intelligence officials to spy on communications of non-citizens outside of the United States.
“It’s well known [Trump] has concerns about the domestic FISA law, not what we are doing today,” Ryan said. “He knows that and I think he put out something that clarified that.”
Trump tweeted early this morning about the House vote on what he called the “controversial FISA ACT” and said it “may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others.”
Trump later tweeted again, this time walking back the initial tweet.
“With that being said, I have personally directed the fix to the unmasking process since taking office and today’s vote is about foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land. We need it! Get smart!”
Republicans have questioned whether the FISA law was used illegally to unmask Trump administration officials in an effort to damage the administration and spur the current investigation into whether Trump colluded with the Russians to win the White House.
“He just has concerns about other parts of FISA,” Ryan explained when reporters asked if the president is confused about the law.
“We’ve talked about FISA in the past, he knows what 702 [provision] is.”