National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander said the NSA wants to collect more phone records, even after being the subject of recent public unease.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked Alexander if the NSA wants "the phone records of all Americans" during a congressional hearing Thursday.
"I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lockbox that we can search when the nation needs to do it, yes," Alexander replied.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) reminded Alexander of Americans' distrust in the NSA since Edward Snowden disclosed documents on previously secret U.S. internet and phone surveillance programs in June.
"A lot of Americans have lost trust in what you're doing," Warner said.
During the same hearing, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said he would consider limits to ease concerns raised by disclosures of NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone and email data.
Matt Sledge contributed to this report.