December 18th, 2013
07:04 PM ET
10 months ago

Rand Paul: Intelligence director should resign

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Rand Paul said the nation’s top intelligence official should resign for “lying” to a Senate committee about mass data collection by the National Security Agency.

"I do think what your government is doing is unconstitutional, and I really think that in order to restore confidence in our intelligence community, I think James Clapper should resign," Paul said Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Paul, also said actions by Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, have done more to compromise the credibility of the intelligence community than leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

"I find that really, that Clapper lying to Congress is probably more injurious to our intelligent capabilities than anything Snowden did because Clapper has damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence apparatus, and I'm not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to Congress."

Snowden, Paul said, "technically" broke the law and "shouldn't get off scot-free" though what he did may qualify him as a whistleblower.

"I think there have to be rules about leaks. I don't think you can give away national security secrets, but at the same time, I'm very offended that the intelligence director lied to Congress, which is perjury and punishable by jail time," he said.

Paul has made similar comments about Clapper and lying.

Clapper has apologized to the Senate committee for giving members a "clearly erroneous" answer about the surveillance programs.

Paul's latest criticism comes two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled preliminarily that NSA data collection of telephone metadata was probably unconstitutional on privacy grounds.

Paul said he agreed but fell short of saying he would take action to sue the intelligence agency.

An independent review of NSA surveillance released Wednesday and ordered by President Barack Obama recommended that electronic surveillance of Americans at home and abroad should remain in place.

"I think even the President's own team now is coming up with recommendations that acknowledge that the President has allowed this to get away from himself," Paul said.

Paul, who has said he's considering a run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, characterized Obama as being "glib" on the NSA surveillance controversy and blames the President “for not taking a better handle” on the situation.


Filed under: Edward Snowden • NSA • Rand Paul
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. josh

    Thank you Rand! Cant wait till 2016!

    December 18, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. ghostwriter

    Paul later admitted his reasoning was that he thought the director of intelligence was a position with the Department of Education.

    December 18, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. adam

    Rand Paul is one of the few that gets it. So thankful he hasnt backed down from the establishment. End the Fed!

    December 18, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Paul should resign for causing tax refunds to be late due to the Cruz, Paul, Rubio, and GOP shutdown of government.

    December 18, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. ken

    every time rand opens his mouth his chances of getting to the oval office decrearse

    December 18, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. rs

    Mr. Paul should resign for being clinically idiotic. How did the GOP get to be so stupid? The Senate won't do anything. Their faux outrage is just so much noise.

    December 18, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. RWB1956

    Rand, why don't you resign? You have not accomplished anything in the years you have been a Senator. Just hate and fear-mongering. We need people that work for us and not themselves.

    December 18, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Peppy

    Clapper came out and flat out lied, but what do you expect when the pres wins BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR award.
    Of course Clapper should be fired !!!

    December 18, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  9. S. B. Stein

    Were these discussions in an open committee hearing or in a secured secret hearing? If it was in a classified hearing, then the full story should have come out. I am not sure that Paul really understands what is going on or realizes the full implication as to what he is thinking.

    December 18, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Jack

    Sorry to disagree with you Mr. Paul; you should resign! I trust the President more than I'll ever trust you!

    December 18, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  11. picnick

    I trust Rand Paul because he voted against the PATRIOT Act and he stands by is votes to defend the Bill of Rights from these domestic terrorists.

    December 19, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. picnick

    Rand Paul voted against the PATRIOT Act extension in May of 2011.

    Obama signed it into law.

    The eye surgeon has better clarity of vision for the Bill of Rights than the filthy lawyers.

    Long live the 4th amendment.

    Rand Paul 2016.

    December 19, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  13. 1776

    What Ed Snowden did was Honorable! the 4th Amendment and probably a bunch others are being trampled upon! by a bunch of liars!

    December 19, 2013 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  14. Burstbubble

    Well, if he has lied I doubt that anything will happen. He is just the tip of the iceberg. What about the others?? America has become just like the Roman empire (Western) were the rule of law didn't mean much. It eventually collapsed.

    December 19, 2013 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  15. Marie MD

    The words intelligence and this pre 60s racist should NEVER be in the same sentence.
    Think MN flake and intelligence too.
    The Patriot Act was implemented during the shrub's #43administration but that was okay when he was president.
    I stand by you don't want the government finding the bad guys? Give up your facebook and twitter accounts America.

    December 19, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  16. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Who cares? Rant Paul is a dope.

    December 19, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  17. Gurgyl

    All GOP congress animals should be suspended for NOT passing jobs bill. O.k.

    December 19, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |