Monday, October 18

Rep. Pompeo responds to Tiahrt’s false claims about NSA activities

From the campaign office of Mike Pompeo, referring to claims made by Todd Tiahrt. The amendment referred to below is H.Amdt. 412 (Pompeo) to H.R. 2397: Amendment prohibits the use of funds by the NSA to target a U.S. person or acquire and store the content of a U.S. person’s communications, including phone calls and emails.

Rep. Pompeo responds to Tiahrt’s false claims about NSA activities

WICHITA — Today, Kansans for Responsible Government, Wink Hartman’s Super PAC that is actively supporting Todd Tiahrt’s campaign for election, launched an untrue and misleading television advertisement challenging Rep. Pompeo’s commitment to Americans’ national security and constitutional rights.

“Mr. Tiahrt’s flip-flop on the National Security Agency (NSA) counter-terrorism intelligence collection efforts, documented in a recent Wichita Eagle WE Blog post, is bizarre because Mr. Tiahrt sat on the House Intelligence Committee when current NSA rules and practices were put into place, and voted for the PATRIOT Act four times,” campaign manager Jim Richardson said. “During his time in Congress, Tiahrt never objected to any of these activities; in fact, he supported their creation.”

Mr. Tiahrt has made claims that Rep. Pompeo’s support for the NSA is unconstitutional – that the NSA listens to Americans’ phone calls and reads their emails. Not only is this claim false, but Tiahrt knows it. He never raised these issues during his decade in Congress, the period in which these NSA programs began in 2001. In fact Mr. Tiahrt was a strong advocate for the even more intrusive warrantless wiretapping.

By contrast, Rep. Pompeo offered the Pompeo Amendment that expressly prohibits the NSA from targeting a U.S. person or acquiring and storing the content of a U.S. person’s phone calls and e-mails. The Pompeo Amendment became law in January 2014. Mr. Tiahrt never sought to make such an amendment.

“As a West Point graduate and Army veteran, keeping our nation safe is my priority and we must do so in a manner that respects our Constitution,” Rep. Pompeo said. “The NSA’s work is absolutely essential in the fight against terrorism. I’ve worked tirelessly on the Intelligence Committee to ensure that our warriors have the resources to track down terrorist groups and that Congress executes its oversight responsibilities thoroughly. I will never waver in my commitment to keeping our nation safe while maintaining our civil liberties. Never.”