(CNN) - Rep. Peter King said fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul owes the nation’s top intelligence official an apology after saying he should resign for “lying” to a Senate committee about a controversial surveillance program.
The New York congressman also said that Paul's comparison of National Intelligence Director James Clapper to NSA leaker Edward Snowden is "absolutely disgraceful."
"For Senator Paul to compare that patriot, General Clapper, with someone like Snowden, who is a traitor, who has put American lives at risk - Senator Paul should be ashamed of himself," King said Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
"It's an absolute disgrace. He disgraced his office and he owes General Clapper an apology immediately."
Paul told CNN on Wednesday that public congressional testimony by Clapper last March denying the existence of a sweeping electronic data collection program at the National Security Agency had done more to damage the credibility of the intelligence community than the leaks by Snowden that blew the whistle on the spying initiative.
Rand Paul: Intelligence director should resign
Paul, a Kentucky Republican with strong tea party-backing, and King are both considered likely GOP presidential candidates in 2016.
Clapper apologized to the Senate committee for giving members a "clearly erroneous" answer about the surveillance programs.
Intelligence leaks exposed by Snowden, a former government contractor, revealed that the NSA, indeed, had extensive, classified electronic surveillance of telephone and e-mail records.
Clapper later said he was faced with trying to answer a question about a program that at the time was still classified when explaining the discrepancy in his testimony to Congress and the information that arose from the Snowden leaks.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, seven Republican Senators said Clapper's "willful lie under oath fuels the unhealthy cynicism and distrust that citizens feel toward their government" and compromises Congressional oversight functions.
Responding to the letter, a spokesman for Clapper underscored the previous explanation of his testimony and highlighted his long-standing reputation of honesty.
"DNI Clapper has been testifying before members of Congress for more than two decades and he enjoys a well-earned reputation as a doggedly honest and honorable public servant," said Clapper spokesman Shawn Turner.
"He apologized for the confusion caused by his response and is focused on working with the intelligence committees to increase transparency while protecting critical intelligence sources and methods."
King said these Republicans calling for Clapper’s resignation are part of "the isolationist wing of the party.
A review of NSA surveillance ordered by President Barack Obama and released recommended changes to the surveillance program including greater judicial oversight and more public transparency.
So Peter King is in favor of lying to Congress and covering up the spying on American citizens. No big surprise there.
What a joke! How can anyone take Peter King seriously?
But..... he freakin lied to congress. That's bad, right? But he's a patriot for that? Okay.
...says a man who's been a longtime supporter of IRA terrorism. I don't think he has any national security bona fides whatsoever.
Put American lives at risk there King? How about George W Bush, who's lies YOU supported, that killed thousands of Americans in Iraq is something you might want to address. No fan of either of these idiots
The question is not if but when will the Tea Party split from the GOP. The sooner the better.
You're the disgrace, Rep. King, along with anyone else who condones or supports the NSA.
If Rand Paul is a Republican front runner, they may as well pack it in now and save the cash., whatever you may think about the guy, he is unelectable.
Anyone who thinks Paul is wrong on this is just plain un-intelligent.
Peter King has lost his mind or he's sold out to Gas Chamber George Soros, or they dug up a huge pile of dirt up on him.
Neither King nor Paul have a snowball's chance in hell of becoming president.
When the lines of what is and what is not patriotic reaches this kind of pitch, a revolution is not far from the horizon
People like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Daryl Issa are serious threats to our nation. They pretend to be patriots but in reality are doing everything they can to tear our country, our President, and our government down. It's good to see Rep. King and other Republicans finally standing up to these dangerous extremists.
"King said these Republicans calling for Clapper’s resignation are part of "the isolationist wing of the party."
No. Part of "the serve on behalf of the American people wing of the party."
For a very marginally competent, first-term, senator, Randy is sure attempting to assert his domination of any discussion. Remember Benghazi, how Randy told Sec. Clinton that if he were President (dream on) he'd have fired her as Sec. State. Of course his accusations were based on erroneous reports. Maybe he was just too busy deciding what to plagiarize, to bother with reality.
Why does he always look like he's been on an all-night bender?
So sorry, I meant RAND Paul, not Ron Paul.
Republicans eating their own, a preview of the 2014 primary season. Going to be a lot of fun watching.
Rand Paul is the true leader of the brain dead. Rand owes every American an apology and his own resignation from the senate.
King is a idiot who needs to self deport. Enough said
Who in the world listens to Peter King? King said that a senator asked Clapper a "wrong" question and the poor guy was forced to lie. What a joke! Go get 'em Rand Paul.
"Those who would sacrifice liberty for some security deserve neither!"- Benjamin Franklin 1885
As much as I despise anything or anyone right of center, I kinda dig his standing up to the NSA. Track me all you want NSA, whatevs. You all going down anyway.
God bless senator paul.
Any reason why CNN bothers with this stuff? If we just ignored these politicians and their temper tantrums, maybe they'll stop doing it. We'll just put them all in the corner until they are done sulking and do their chores like they are supposed to.
Clapper lied. Everyone knows he lied. Attacking Rand Paul for attacking Clapper is stupid. Stupid. If a man cannot tell the truth to his overseers, because they are not "cleared" to hear it, or there is a risk of leaks, there is a problem. And that problem is with the intelligence agencies, and their representatives, and not with Senators on a oversight committee. I say Senators, because it isn't just Rand Paul who is unhappy. He is just making hay.