Trump seemingly sent the tweet in response to a Fox News segment.
President Donald Trump threw a scheduled congressional vote on a surveillance bill into chaos Thursday morning when he unexpectedly tweeted criticism of it, apparently in response to a Fox News segment.
He then walked it back an hour and a half later.
Top Intelligence Committee Republicans and Democrats had been working with Trump administration officials on legislation renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) amendments — which allows for warrantless surveillance of foreigners and is set to expire.
Civil liberties advocates on both the left and right have criticized Section 702 as overly broad, and argued that American communications are often swept up in the surveillance too. Still, the bill was expected to pass the House of Representatives today with a combination of Democratic and Republican votes.
Then at around 7:33 am, Trump tweeted:
“House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.” This is the act that 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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2018
(There’s no indication that FISA was used to “badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign.”)
Axios’s Jonathan Swan reported that Hill Republicans began speculating about who might have “got to” Trump and encouraged the tweet. But Matt Gertz, who does yeoman’s work for Media Matters checking which Trump tweets appear to match up with recent Fox News segments, found that Trump’s tweet was in fact quoting a Fox News chyron:
Left, Fox & Friends, 6:46 am
Right, Trump, 7:33 am pic.twitter.com/hvxAc93EyK
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 11, 2018
Gertz further pointed out that during this segment, Fox commentator Andrew Napolitano connected the Read More Here