NSA to senator: If we were collecting your phone records, we couldn't tell you

(CNN) - National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander, in response to a letter from Sen. Bernie Sanders, said Tuesday that nothing the agency does "can fairly be characterized as 'spying on Members of Congress or American elected officials.'"

Alexander did not offer any further details about members of Congress specifically, arguing that doing so would require him to violate the civilian protections incorporated into the surveillance programs.

"Among those protections is the condition that NSA can query the metadata only based on phone numbers reasonably suspected to be associated with specific foreign terrorist groups," Alexander wrote.Sanders, I-Vermont, had written to Alexander earlier this month asking whether the NSA is currently spying "on members of Congress or other American elected officials" or had in the past...


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