There's something wrong with America's intelligence gathering system if secret tapes of former national security adviser Michael Flynn were made public and he was singled out by name, former Congressman Pete Hoekstra told Newsmax TV.
During an appearance on "America Talks Live," Hoekstra told host Bill Tucker that someone at the National Security Agency (NSA) broke protocol in the Flynn saga, in which he discussed over the phone America's sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. after last fall's election.
See J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV: Tune in beginning at 1 PM EDT to see "America Talks Live" — on FiOS 615, YouTube Livestream, Newsmax TV App from any smartphone, NewsmaxTV.com, Roku, Amazon Fire — More Systems Here
"[The NSA] can collect on the Russian embassy, no problem," said Hoekstra, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "But when they collect on an American, whether it's here in the United States or when we collect inadvertently on an American overseas, that information immediately should be what we call minimized. The name should be taken away."
Hoekstra explained that a court order must be granted in order to receive permission to release the name of any American captured by the NSA's spying techniques.
"I don't think any of that happened," Hoekstra said. "So we're collecting on an American inadvertently, Gen. Michael Flynn, that stuff should have been minimized. It should never have been shared or distributed anywhere, but somehow it made it to somebody who said, 'oh, I think I'm going to give this to the media.'"
President Donald Trump has called on the FBI to investigate who leaked the Flynn information and other confidential and/or classified things that have been made public in the first month of his administration.
Hoekstra said another concerning thing that's come out of the Flynn story is that Russia now has confirmation the U.S. eavesdrops on its conversations within the Russian embassy.
"This now tells the Russians that if you thought you had a secure system to communicate outside of the embassy, the intelligence community has now just told you, 'sorry, it's compromised,'" Hoekstra noted. "We have signaled very quickly to the Russians what our capabilities are."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.