House OKs foreign surveillance program

Capitol Hill
A flag flies on at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. The House is scheduled to vote on adopting mandatory anti-sexual harassment training for all members and their staff. The vote comes amid a wave of allegations of sexual misconduct against lawmakers that has thrust the issue of gender hostility and discrimination on Capitol Hill squarely into the spotlight. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. intelligence services are enacting a mandate from President Donald Trump to establish guidelines on “unmasking” the identities of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats on Thursday signed a measure that for the first time established guidance for the entire intelligence community. It directs civilian and military agencies to establish plans within 90 days in consultation with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The measure aims to more tightly restrict how the names of Americans kept secret in intelligence reports can be revealed, particularly during presidential transitions. The move follows unsubstantiated charges by President Donald Trump that his predecessor’s administration spied on his campaign and improperly “unmasked” the identities of his associates during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition.

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