Eyewitness News is committed to helping you make an informed decision in the upcoming campaign. We do this by fact checking some of the claims made by candidates and their supporters.
A current television ad criticizes Rep. Mike Pompeo's position on the NSA surveillance program. The ad, called "Listen", was made by a political super PAC called Kansans for Responsible Government. The PAC was formed by Wichita businessman Wink Hartman and is supporting Todd Tiahrt in the August primary.
"It's been called an assault on the Constitution. National Security Agency collecting the call data of millions of Americans ... Tell Mike Pompeo monitoring Americans' calls isn't constitutional and not the way our government ought to operate," the ad states.
We find the statement misleading. Here's why: The NSA does collect data including phone numbers and the length of call. But it isn't "monitoring Americans' calls," as the ad says.
According to the House Select Intelligence Committee, of which Pompeo is a member, the program doesn't allow for the monitoring of call content unless the government has obtained a court order for probable cause that there's a connection to foreign terrorism.
However, the Director of National Intelligence has said there are ways the government can legally check phone records without a warrant. And the NSA has acknowledged a dozen incidents in which its analysts misused the program, mostly to see if their spouses or girlfriends had cheated.
The ad also features a sound bite from Pompeo on the house floor, saying "This is precisely the way our government ought to operate."
Again, we find this misleading because of the lack of context for the quote. Here is more of what Pompeo said that day:
"Contrary to the suggestions of some, the NSA program has not been acting outside of the scope of its authorities. The metadata program is carefully designed with program layers of oversight by all three branches of government. This is precisely the way our government ought to operate."
It's also worth pointing out when Tiahrt was in congress, he repeatedly voted in favor of the NSA surveillance program. However, Tiahrt's campaign manager, Robert Noland, tells FactFinder 12 the program, as it's being run today, is not what Tiahrt agreed to. Noland says Tiahrt supports legal monitoring for terrorism, with warrants, as prescribed in the original Patriot Act.