intelligence

Rubio: ISIS Would've Lobbied for USA Freedom Act

Rubio, a presidential candidate, slammed the USA Freedom Act on Monday.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

"If ISIS had lobbyists in Washington, they would have spent millions to support the anti-Intelligence law that was just passed with the help of some Republicans now running for president."  

That's what Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Monday in a foreign policy speech of the surveillance overhaul that he's long opposed, drawing a contrast with his Republican presidential rivals from the Senate. But the rhetoric against the USA Freedom Act has not led to concern by supporters of his White House bid who also backed — or even advocated for — to have concerns about Rubio or his message.  

Cruz Remarks Draw Intel Panel Attention

Burr said the committee was reviewing Cruz's comments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr said his staff was reviewing comments about the Patriot Act's metadata program made by Sen. Ted Cruz during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.  

Burr said that any time there are specific references to numbers related to intelligence programs it sets off concerns among those who handle classified information, but a review is necessary to determine if there was an open source for the data.  

Did Ted Cruz Disclose Classified Information?

Cruz and Rubio sparred over possibly classified information at the debate Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Did Sen. Ted Cruz disclose classified information on national television?  

Those without access to the intelligence itself probably won't know for sure, but that seemed to be the implication in the reaction from presidential campaign rival and fellow Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during a portion of Tuesday's CNN debate that focused on their differing views on the scope of National Security Agency surveillance programs. Rubio said that in transitioning to a system without bulk collection of phone metadata that existed under the Patriot Act, the intelligence community lost tools to prevent terrorist attacks. That prompted Cruz, a Texas Republican, to snap back.  

Cruz Strikes Back on Rubio's Patriot Act Attacks

Cruz is hitting back on criticism from his presidential rival Rubio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Facing accusations from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that he's supported weakening surveillance powers, presidential rival and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas hit back against his rival on Thursday.  

The two Republican presidential candidates have been at each other over their differing views on reauthorization of provisions of the Patriot Act. The provisions in question involve the bulk collection of telephone metadata by the National Security Agency. Rubio is in a contingent led by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., that is blasting people who supported ending the bulk collection, claiming the practice is key to fighting terrorist threats.  

Domestic Surveillance Re-Emerges in Senate, on the Trail

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A debate over domestic surveillance that appeared resolved months ago is getting new life in the Senate — and on the 2016 presidential trail.  

Speaking to college students Thursday at George Washington University, presidential hopeful Rand Paul called "bullshit" on the idea there should be expanded screening of phone records in the aftermath of last week's terrorist attacks in France. The Republican senator from Kentucky was responding to a proposal Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., announced Tuesday that would extend the timeline for phasing out the government's bulk collection of telephone records through January 2017. It is backed by Paul's opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and the issue has quickly become a hot button in the battle for the GOP nomination.  

Watch Live: House Judiciary Hearing on Syrian Refugee Crisis

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security holds a hearing on the Syrian refugee crisis and the U.S. admission program for refugees. Officials from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are expected to testify.

Kerry Warns Feinstein of CIA Torture Report's Possible Impact on Hostages

In happier times. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein Friday about the possible impact of her committee's imminent CIA torture report on American hostages and the war on ISIS.  

"He called his former colleague to discuss the broader implications of the timing of the report's release because a lot is going on in the world, and he wanted to make sure that foreign policy implications were being appropriately factored into timing. These include our ongoing efforts against ISIL and the safety of Americans being held hostage around the world," State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "That anyone would mischaracterize this call or question reasonable, proper, private discussions raises questions about what they’re trying to accomplish."  

Before Approving ISIS War, Menendez Wants Intelligence Briefing (Video)

Ranking member Bob Corker, left, and Menendez listen as Kerry testifies about the ISIS threat (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The senator leading a push to authorize the war against ISIS after the elections wants an intelligence briefing first, so lawmakers know the full extent of the covert operations already under way.  

Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez aired his frustrations last week when Secretary of State John Kerry came to testify before his old committee about the administration's plans to fight the terror group known as ISIS or ISIL.  

Chambliss Wants Special Counsel to Investigate Obama on Bergdahl Swap

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee wants a special counsel to investigate President Barack Obama's swap of five Taliban members for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  

An aide to Sen. Saxby Chambliss told CQ Roll Call in an email Thursday that the Georgia Republican wants the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to investigate the prisoner swap, which the Government Accountability Office contended earlier Thursday violated federal law. The GAO opinion said the administration violated the notice requirement for transfers out of the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Antideficiency Act, which is the federal law barring spending without appropriated funds. The Defense Department has contended that the notice requirement is unconstitutional.  

Feinstein Withholds Report on CIA Torture, Writes Letter to Obama

Brennan and Feinstein (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein isn't happy with the redactions being demanded by the administration to her committee's report on torture by the CIA, and she wants the president to intervene.  

The California Democrat said she will seek a series of changes to mitigate redactions to the report's summary made by the White House that have made the document essentially unreadable.