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POLITICS: PennAve

Hillary Clinton: 'We have to make some changes' to NSA spying authority

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Politics,Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,National Security,Campaigns,PennAve,NSA,Surveillance,Rebecca Berg,Spying,Privacy

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday blamed domestic spying by the National Security Agency on broad authority granted by Congress and the president to the intelligence community following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but said it's time to re-evaluate that latitude.

"I think we’re finally taking stock of the laws we passed after 9/11," Clinton said in an interview on Fox News. "I voted for some, I voted against some."

The votes in favor of broader authority were appropriate, Clinton said, because of the extenuating circumstances at the time. But now, Clinton said, "People have said the emergency is over and we want to get back to regular order.

"It's a really difficult balancing act, but ... we have to make some changes to protect the constitutional right that Americans are due," Clinton added.

And domestic spying alone is not the only concern: When asked whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel should be upset that U.S. intelligence monitored her cellphone, Clinton was unequivocal.

"Yes, she should be," Clinton said. "That was absolutely uncalled for."

U.S. intelligence and domestic spying by the NSA in particular burst into the public discourse last year when Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the breadth of spying on Americans' communications. Since then, the topic has become a political flashpoint -- roundly criticized by some potential presidential candidates, such as Republican Sen. Rand Paul, and defended in part by others, such as Clinton.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner