Trump is fine with trading liberty for security
by Sam Rolley
If you’re not a fan of the sort of ever-present surveillance kicked off under the George W. Bush administration and continued by President Barack Obama, GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump isn’t your man for 2016.
The real estate magnate, during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, suggested that security would always trump privacy under his watch.
Saying he’d “err on the side of security” when deciding how much is too much government spying, Trump aligned himself with establishment Republican candidates Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“Every time I pick up a phone, I assume people are listening to my conversations,” Trump said. “I don’t like it, but I have to make that assumption. I would really much err on the side of security. As a lot of people would agree with me on that.”
Trump’s remarks came a day after new NSA reforms designed to make it harder for the government to spy on Americans took effect.
Asked whether those reforms should be reversed due to new terror threats, Trump responded: “Well, I err on the side of security … You know, it’s a very interesting issue. But I happen to be — and I’ve been there from the beginning, I’ve been there from before the Paris attack. After every attack, everybody says exactly this. I err on the side of security. I err on the side of security.”
So far, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky are the only GOP presidential contenders to unequivocally support Americans’ 4th Amendment right to be free of government snooping in private communications.
That support has led to attacks from their establishment opponents.
“At least two of my colleagues in the Senate aspiring to the presidency — Sen. Cruz in particular — have voted to weaken the U.S. intelligence programs just in the last month and a half,” Rubio recently said of the two. “And the weakening of our intelligence gathering capabilities leaves America vulnerable.”