James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said "No" when asked in March if the federal government was conducting wholesale spying on law abiding Americans.
Today Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who asked the question during the March hearing, said he wants Clapper to appear before another hearing to give "straight answers."
Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has been warning at least since last December against wide spread government snooping. He made clear in a statement today that he gave Clapper plenty of warning last March that he would ask him about prying by the National Security Agency.
"So that he would be prepared to answer, I sent the question to Director Clapper's office a day in advance," Wyden said in a statement today. "After the hearing was over my staff and I gave his office a chance to amend his answer. "
At the hearing, Wyden asked Clapper for a yes or no answer to the question "does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
In response, Clapper said "No, sir." When Wyden pressed again, Clapper clarified that the government doesn't do it "wittingly," at least.