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by Daveda Gruber:

Remember when President Donald Trump claimed he was wiretapped and monitored?

Well, on Monday a former NSA official claimed that President Trump was right.

He added that the administration risks falling victim to further leaks by the intelligence community.

William (Bill) Binney, a 36 year veteran of the National Security Agency who uses a wheelchair for his loss of both lower legs, had resigned in protest from the organization in 2001.

He said, “I think the president is absolutely right. His phone calls, everything he did electronically, was being monitored.”

Binney also said that everyone’s conversations are being monitored and stored.

Bill Binney resigned from NSA shortly after the U.S. approach to intelligence changed after the horrible day on September 11, 2001.

He became a whistleblower after finding out that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop, nicknamed ThinThread, were being used to spy on Americans.

He came to the defense of the president after Trump tweeted about outgoing President Barack Obama tapped his phones during the 2016 campaign.

 

Binney did go further than the assessment of former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, a George W. Bush administration official.

Mukasey said,. “This is the difference between being correct and right. The president was not correct in saying President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower. However, I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general at the Justice Department through the FISA court.”

But Binney had said earlier, “I think the FISA court’s basically totally irrelevant.”

He mentioned that the judges on the FISA court are “not even concerned, nor are they involved in any way with the Executive Order 12333 collection.

Binney said, “That’s all done outside of the courts. And outside of the Congress.”

Binney was disturbed that the laws that fall under the FISA court’s jurisdiction are “simply out there for show” and “trying to show that the government is following the law, and being looked at and overseen by the Senate and House intelligence committees and the courts.”

Binney added, “That’s not the main collection program for NSA.”

But, Binney did not go into details about, was if President Obama directed surveillance on Trump for political purposes during the campaign. This was a core accusation of Trump’s.

Binney did say that events such as publication of details of private calls between President Trump and the Australian prime minister, and with the Mexican president, are evidence the intelligence community is playing hardball with the White House.

Binney added, “I think that’s what happened here. The evidence of the conversation of the president of the U.S., President Trump, and the prime minister of Australia and the president of Mexico. Releasing those conversations. Those are conversations that are picked up by the FAIRVIEW program, primarily, by NSA.”


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