Today's appearance by the NSA chief on Capitol Hill didn't produce many surprises—he said data mining is necessary and used in such a way that it doesn't invade privacy—but it did produce one strange moment featuring Sen. Barbara Mikulski. At one point, the Maryland Democrat paused the hearing to read a critical tweet from BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray—"@SenatorBarb is trying hard to keep the other senators from asking Gen. Alexander anymore about data mining programs.” Mikulski took exception, reports Politico.
“Not everybody might be watching C-SPAN, so I want to say to Rosie and to others who might read it from Rosie: There is no attempt here to muzzle, stifle any senator from asking any line of questioning.” She also noted that the hearing was originally scheduled to talk about cybersecurity, not surveillance, "but any senator can ask any question at this hearing that they want to." Around that point, she smiled and picked up her smartphone. "So Rosie, it’s an open hearing. Hi. Look forward to keeping in touch.” (After which, Gray tweeted, "guess I should have subtweeted.")