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WATCH: Barton Gellman on NSA revelations

A Monday segment of On Background dove into the new NSA audit with Washington Post contributor Barton Gellman. Last week, Gellman reported on an audit that said the NSA has overstepped its authority thousands of times since the agency's expansion in 2008.

Barton Gellman, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, first reported for the The Washington Post on the National Security Agency's extensive surveillance programs. Nia-Malika Henderson sits down with Gellman On Background about reporting on the controversial activities. (The Washington Post)

Commenting on President Obama's remarks defending the program, Gellman said that the president and those who work for him operate under a narrow definition of the words "abuse" and "inappropriately." The language "doesn't explain," he said.

Looking at the audit, Gellman said he saw "a strong contrast to the picture that has been painted by the administration."

"They portray a degree of oversight by Congress and the courts that doesn't exist," he said.

Gellman chatted with On Background host Nia-Malika Henderson on everything from the NSA's human-caused infractions, secrecy regarding compliance incidence reports and loopholes in the agency's methods of tracking mobile phones.

Ruth Tam is a writer based in Washington, D.C., where she web produces for The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

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