WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike Lee is raising money off his opposition to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
And he's hoping the NSA will spy on him and find out all about it.
The Utah Republican, who is up for re-election next year, is asking supporters to donate to his campaign and sign a petition backing his legislative efforts to end the NSA's collection and storage of Americans' phone records.
"Eavesdropping or not, let's send the NSA a message they can't HELP but hear!" Lee wrote in the email Thursday night. "We may not be able to duplicate the NSA's complex spider web, but we can get the honest, hardworking people of America to join us in the cause of ending government-sanctioned spying on its citizens."
"And as for this email, the NSA can read it all they want. we WANT them to see this one!" Lee added.
He sent the email a few hours after a federal appeals court had declared the NSA bulk data collection program illegal, and with Congress in a heated debate about the practice. Lee and other libertarian-leaning Republicans have joined with many Democrats in trying to end the program, but other lawmakers, including GOP Senate leadership, want it to continue.
An NSA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.