Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday denied any apparent confusion in the two tweets posted by Donald Trump ahead of a vote to pass a sweeping surveillance bill in the House, insisting that Trump had “full understanding” of the law.


Trump raised eyebrows Thursday morning when he appeared to draw a link between the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which includes a provision that allows the National Security Agency to monitor foreign nationals without warrants, to his allegations that his campaign had been spied on by the Obama administration.

“‘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?” the president tweeted.

The tweet seemed to contradict his own White House, which one day earlier had called for the bill’s passage in a statement.

Hours later, Trump responded with a new tweet that appeared to clarify his support for the bill, saying that it is about “foreign surveillance of foreign bad guys on foreign land” and that “we need it!”

Sanders repeatedly defended Trump as reporters asked about the apparent contradiction.

“We don’t think there was a conflict at all. The president fully supports 702 and was happy to see that it passed the house today, but he does have some overall concern with the FISA program more generally,” she said, referring to the name of the surveillance law.

“The president doesn’t feel that we shave to choose between protecting American citizens and protecting their civil liberties.”

She went onto say that the president has “full understanding” of the program and that the follow-up tweet was only to dispel any confusion among the media, not to acknowledge a shift in view.

“We weren’t confused, but some of you were. So we wanted to make sure you knew the White House position,” Sanders said.

Then, speaking to MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, Sanders said, “I think the premise of your question is completely ridiculous and shows the lack of knowledge you have on this issue.”




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