President Trump on Thursday appeared bewildered by his own administration's goals, tweeting out his disapproval of a House bill reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) — a contradiction of the White House's official position — before tacking his support back onto it an hour and a half later.
As Jonathan Chait observed at New York, Trump's initial tweet was apparently a response to Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, who advised Trump on TV against the reauthorization of the bill. "The president's alarm was unfortunate, since the Trump administration strongly supports reauthorization of this law," Chait writes. "It has sent its highest-ranking security officials to lobby Congress for reauthorization, and reiterated its endorsement of the law as recently as last night."
Someone in the White House perhaps intercepted Trump before he could do more damage, as the president tweeted this later in the morning:
At least a few Republicans were relieved by the correction. "The House should pass the #FISA HPSCI compromise bill as is," tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). "This program is about stopping terrorists and keeping the U.S. safe, and it protects the privacy of American citizens."