Barbara Mikulski halts NSA hearing to answer a Twitter critic (video)

June 12, 2013

Well, now we've seen it all.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, ground a closely-watched hearing on cybersecurity to a halt Wednesday -- in order to respond to a critic's comments via Twitter.

At issue was Mikulski's request that committee members not ask Gen. Keith Alexander, who leads National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, about the recent rash of leaks regarding the agency's telephone and Internet-tracking programs. Mikulski asked that the senators instead ask their questions during a closed-door hearing on Thursday.

That prompted BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray to say via Twitter that “@SenatorBarb [Mikulski's Twitter handle] is trying hard to keep the other senators from asking Gen. Alexander anymore about data mining programs."

You can watch the five-term senator's response to Gray in the video above (or here) and check out a gif inspired by Mikulski's response here:

 Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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Aaron Blake | June 12, 2013