Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday defended the National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of collecting phone records from millions of Americans, and said that he had no problem with being spied on.
During an interview on Fox News, Graham was asked to react to the news that Verizon had been required to provide phone records metadata to the NSA on a daily basis.
“I think we should be concerned about terrorists trying to infiltrate our country and attack us and trying to coordinate activities from overseas within inside the country,” he explained. “Under the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] law, you just can’t track people’s phone calls, you’ve got to have a reasonable belief that that the people you’re monitoring — in terms of monitoring conversations — one of the person is involved in terrorism. So, you’re trying to data mine and find out, you know, these numbers that we know are in the hands of guys who they are calling. And then once you find a match, you can monitor.”
Fox News host Steve Doocy pointed out that he was a Verizon customer and had been “tracked by the NSA following all our phone detail.”
“I’m a Verizon customer,” Graham revealed. “I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government’s going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States. I don’t think you’re talking to terrorists. I know you’re not. I know I’m not. So, we don’t have anything to worry about.”
“I’m glad the activity is going on, but it is limited to tracking people who are suspected to be terrorists and who they may be talking to,” the South Carolina Republican added.
“Are you sure?” co-host Brian Kilmeade wondered. “That’s what it’s supposed to be, but are you sure they’re still doing that?”
“Yes, I’m sure that’s what they’re doing,” Graham insisted. “I’m sure we should be doing this.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast June 6, 2013.