Two reporters at Reuters quote an anonymous administration official saying that the White House doesn't think Congress should reform legal provisions related to foreign surveillance while considering whether to re-approve them this year:
"We support the clean reauthorization and the administration believes it's necessary to protect the security of the nation."
Timing is everything: The blind comment comes as the House Judiciary Committee holds an initial hearing on re-approving one of the more prominent elements of the law in question, which is used to justify the surveillance of foreign targets located abroad. A classified session this morning between lawmakers and government officials ran on for hours.
Why it matters: The provision, known as Section 702, is set to expire at the end of the year unless lawmakers act. That means a battle between privacy advocates and surveillance hawks is coming, since civil libertarians believe the law can be too broadly applied. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Privacy advocates are worried that President Trump and his appointees could expand the government surveillance apparatus.
Why it's on the radar: Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he tends to "err on the side of security" when it comes to debates over NSA surveillance. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo both opposed surveillance reforms while they were serving in Congress.