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Rep. Lee Zeldin: US spying on Israel is 'very concerning'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 30, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CAVUTO, HOST: All right. It's one thing to hear that the NSA might have been spying on Israel and, more to the point, the prime minister and other top cabinet officials there. It's quite another to hear that that spying included members of Congress.

We don't know if Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York was one of them, but he's not a happy camper now.

Congressman, what do you make of this?

REP. LEE ZELDIN, R-N.Y.: Well, it's very concerning. I'm looking forward to finding out exactly how far up the chain this goes.

The decision to listen in on conversations during the negotiation and deliberation of the Iran nuclear agreement is of concern. Was this really for national security, or was this for a political advantage...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, do we know, Congressman, whether this was timed around this debate over this Iran agreement, when there was a great consternation on the part of the Israelis, members like yourself who were concerned we were giving away everything to the Iranians? That would be crucial to this.

ZELDIN: Well, that's what some of the reports that have come out over the last 24 hours have indicated.

The House Intelligence Committee announced a little bit earlier today that they're going to start a probe. We will see what happens on the Senate side. And this might be something that really needs the Department of Justice either directly or appointing a special prosecutor to look into.

We really need the facts. We need to know exactly what the NSA was collecting, whether or not they were being directed by anyone on the -- in the Obama administration, how and when to collect.

As far as my own meetings, I had conversations with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and with the Israeli ambassador to the United States. I don't know what was collected, but it would be highly inappropriate if the administration, to score any type of political advantage with the Iran nuclear deal, was not putting a kibosh on this once they found out, or, even worse, directing it.

CAVUTO: You know, another thing that's going to come up, and maybe in this heightened terror fear times, people are going to say, well, the NSA is just out of control, just out of control, and, terror fears or not, we have got to rein them in.

What do you think of that?

ZELDIN: I think it's a fair concern. It's one that's existed in the past.  And it's one that, obviously, this will only heighten the debate now.

It's one thing if the NSA is using the law to be able to collect on someone who is communicating with an individual in the Middle East on how to carry out an ISIS terrorist attack here domestically. It's a whole other thing if you start collecting between conversations of, say, two U.S. citizens with no connection to terrorism.

So, the further you get away from that direct communication, from the civilian standpoint, that's an area of concern we have heard about in the past. And I don't think this will help as far as tempering that debate going forward.

CAVUTO: You know, speaking of this debate about what we're getting on bad guys and not getting, sometimes in the case of good guys or supposed friends, you're obviously familiar with this Iranian rocket launch within just 1,500 yards of the USS Harry Truman in the Strait of Hormuz.

Now, the Iranians are of the opinion, that's their water, that is their -- they can do whatever they want there. We of course have a very different opinion. But it's made a lot of folks reassess the deal with Iran, because it follows just after these missile tests that were going on, two of them back to back, that violate at least the U.N. agreement.

So, what do we do?

ZELDIN: Well, I would say that we don't even have a deal.

The Iranians still haven't signed the agreement. You are pointing out the ballistic missile test. The fact of the matter is, the Iranians are still pledging death to America. They are still sponsoring terror. They convicted U.S. citizens since the signing of a deal, unjustly imprisoning a Marine, a pastor, a reporter.

I would say that there really isn't even a deal.

CAVUTO: All right.

ZELDIN: Hopefully, the next president comes in, and there's still some bit of sanction regime left to hold onto.

CAVUTO: OK.

Congressman, thank you. Have yourself a safe new year. We appreciate it.

ZELDIN: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

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