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Daschle Contradicts Bush on Wiretaps

23 December 2005

A former U.S. Senate majority leader says he never agreed to let the Bush administration eavesdrop, without court approval, on phone calls that cross U.S. borders.

Democrat Tom Daschle contradicts President Bush, who says Congress granted him the authority in legislation authorizing the use of force against al-Qaida after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post Friday, Mr. Daschle says lawmakers granted the president extra powers to pursue al Qaida, but specifically turned down a White House request to use those powers inside the United States.

President Bush last week confirmed he secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop in the United States. He called it a vital tool for national security that was within his legal power.

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