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McCaskill blasts Talent on 1996 wiretap vote

(UPI file photo)

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – The campaign of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill is criticizing Republican Jim Talent on national security.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough appeared at a news conference on behalf of McCaskill Wednesday.

McCullough said when Talent was in the House of Representatives a decade ago, he voted against giving President Clinton expanded domestic wiretapping powers.

"To turn around now, and tout the same provisions to provide this president with the provisions that he stripped out of a bill that would have given it to a president of a different political persuasion I think is incredibly inconsistent and is pretty offensive," McCullough said.

Spokesman Rich Chrismer said Talent voted to remove the wiretap provision because it was too broad. Chrismer added that many Missouri Democrats agreed with Talent at the time.

"That amendment would have allowed the government to infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans who have no suspected terrorist connections," Chrismer said.

Talent has said he supports allowing the National Security Agency to listen to Americans' international phone calls without warrants from a special court.

McCaskill has said that may violate the law, but has indicated she would support legislation to provide oversight.


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