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Paul Ryan: NSA Program 'Comes Across As Fairly Creepy'

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) weighed in on the NSA's monitoring of phone and Internet records Monday, expressing discomfort with the program.

In an interview with WRJN-AM in Wisconsin, Ryan suggested that the NSA's initiative "comes across as fairly creepy."

“I understand FISA court orders to go after some known person, and their phone records and whoever they’re communicating with," Ryan said. "But to do a blanket dragnet nationwide, that seems to go way beyond the scope of the law that I’m familiar with called the Patriot Act.”

Listen to Ryan's audio here.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), who served as one of the authors of the Patriot Act, paralleled Ryan's sentiments last Thursday. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Sensenbrenner expressed concern that the NSA program was inconsistent with the premises put forth by the Patriot Act, calling the seizure of records "excessive and un-American."

Some of Ryan and Sensenbrenner's GOP colleagues have struck a different tone. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). In an interview last Thursday on Fox News, Graham said he was "glad" the NSA collected phone records for anti-terrorism purposes.

"I don't mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States," Graham said.

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