In one of his classic comedy routines, Steve Martin suggested that "I forget" where the two most convenient words in the English language since they can get you out of anything....
National Intelligence Agency James Clapper must agree with Steve Martin since his explanation for denying the NSA's mass surveillance and bulk collection program in 2013 is 'I forgot:"
This was not an untruth or a falsehood. This was just a mistake on his part,” Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Advisory Committee on Transparency on Friday.
“We all make mistakes.”
Litt on Friday said that Clapper merely did not have a chance to prepare an answer for Wyden and forgot about the phone records program when asked about it on the spot.
“We were notified the day before that Sen. Wyden was going to ask this question and the director of national intelligence did not get a chance to review it,” Litt said.
“He was hit unaware by the question,” Litt added. “After this hearing I went to him and I said, ‘Gee, you were wrong on this.’ And it was perfectly clear that he had absolutely forgotten the existence of the 215 program.”
(hat tip Bonnie Kristen at RARE).
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