Given the high profile nature of the NSA story, you would think nearly every United States Senator would at least want to be briefed on the program. But, as The Hill reports,over half of the US Senators didn’t even show up– and even then, some left early.
From The Hill:
Many senators elected to leave Washington early Thursday afternoon instead of attending a briefing with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and other officials.
The exodus of colleagues exasperated Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who spent a grueling week answering colleagues’ and media questions about the program.
“It’s hard to get this story out. Even now we have this big briefing — we’ve got Alexander, we’ve got the FBI, we’ve got the Justice Department, we have the FISA Court there, we have Clapper there — and people are leaving,” she said.
Did Montana’s Senators attend the briefing? It appears so. A spokesperson for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) says the montana senator attended the briefing, and stayed for the full meeting as well. I have not received a response back yet from Senator Jon Tester’s office (D-MT), however an NSA briefing is on the Senator’s online schedule posted here.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Dick Cheney made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows. According to The Daily Caller, Cheney says Snowden is a traitor, and Rand Paul (R-KY) is wrong on surveillance.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney declared National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden ”a traitor” and questioned whether Snowden acted alone or coordinated with the Chinese government as a spy on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend. The prominent hawk also pushed back against Sen. Rand Paul’s concerns about Americans’ constitutional rights.
“I’m deeply suspicious obviously because he went to China,” Cheney told host Chris Wallace. ”That’s not a place where you ordinarily want to go if you’re interested in freedom and liberty and so forth. It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.”