Senator Ron Wyden says he wants open hearings soon on the massive data dragnets the National Security Agency has used to collect phone records and other information on law-abiding Americans.
Wyden pressed Intelligence Director James Clapper about it in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing this week.
In a phone conference with reporters Thursday, Wyden can be heard pounding on a table while saying he believes the intelligence community has yet to make the case for using these methods.
“My question to them,” Wyden said, “and I’ve asked it again and again and again, and I’ll ask it as long as I’m on the intelligence committee, ‘Please lay out for me what is the unique value of this program you are seeking, that you could not obtain in any other way. I’ve asked in every possible fashion.”
Wyden says he has not received what he calls a satisfactory answer.
Since he and Clapper went toe to toe this week, Wyden says they’ve exchanged phone calls.
Without getting into the substance of what was said, he stopped short of calling for Clapper’s resignation.