WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- A key adviser to Sen. John McCain says the Arizona Republican thinks warrantless wiretapping of international communications has constitutional approval.
In an online letter posted by National Review, Douglas Holtz-Eakin said McCain thinks the Constitution gives the president power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor U.S. citizens' international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a federal law requiring court oversight, The New York Times reported Friday.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee thinks "neither the administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people ... understand were constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001," Holtz-Eakin wrote.
If McCain is elected president, he would do all he could to thwart terrorist attacks, "including asking the telecoms for appropriate assistance to collect intelligence against foreign threats," Holtz-Eakin said.
Six months ago, McCain said he would be obligated to obey a statute restricting his actions in national security matters, the Times reported.
"There are some areas where the statutes don't apply, such as in the surveillance of overseas communications," McCain said then."Where they do apply, however, I think that presidents have the obligation to obey and enforce laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, no matter what the situation is."