December 19th, 2013
08:56 PM ET
9 months ago

Peter King: Rand Paul 'disgraced' his office

(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.


Filed under: Peter King • Rand Paul
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. carlos

    In an insane place like DC, the sane man (Rand Paul) will appear insane. Of course a liar like King will not like the antics of someone who tells the truth and works for "the people". We need to clean house in DC. We only have ourselves, and the complicit lying media, to blame for what we have in DC at the moment.

    December 20, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Doc

    They all lie at one time or another. Apparently that's the nature of politics. However, Rand Paul is certifiable. A complete disgrace. Along with Pelosi and Reid.

    December 20, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Donna

    King is your typical loud mouth obnoxious New Yorker. Clapper was a proven liar, like a lot of others in the Obama administration.

    December 20, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  4. wayne

    Rand Paul has come to the realization that the all mighty and powerful Paul's with the whole power of the senate behind him cannot force someone to commit a felony.

    December 20, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. tafugate

    rand paul is a lunatic. the nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

    December 20, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. Timodeus

    All of this hatred of Rand Paul makes me wonder, do all of these fools like being lied to? Do they like warmongers? Ironically, I am willing to bet they were railing against Bush 5 years ago but now accept government spying on them and more military actions because it's what their dear leader wants.

    December 20, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  7. bks

    What is the big deal about NSA program. Credit card companies know all your details including SSN and mortgage lender as well know all of it. So why make such a fuss.
    Rep. King is right in his statement blasting Senator Paul. There is no way Sen Paul is going to be president. At least these three Paul, Cruz and Rubia are going to spoil 2016.

    December 20, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  8. Chris

    Truth is treason in the empire of lies...

    December 20, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. Conrad Shull

    This is where we're at; it's disgraceful to call a liar a liar. You want to say, "Let's move on". But, to what, anymore?

    December 20, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. LeRoy_Was_Here

    I say we put Peter King and Rand Paul in a little room and, you know, see what happens.

    December 20, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  11. Paul

    Like it or not, and I certainly do not give much heed to Rand Paul, but this guy clapper does admit he would lie to congress to keep items covert. Then goes on to say for 20 years he has been nothing but doggedly honest. Sorry I doubt that, if he needed to keep a program covert in the past he has lied about that to. Its the nature of Big Brother.

    December 20, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Bryan

    Peter kings handlers must have told him to be more obnoxious like Cristie. The problem is king has none of the charm that Christe does and he comes across as a bitter villain

    He is trying to use Paul's comments about clapper lying to elevate himself and I don't see it working

    December 20, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. max

    When did lying to Congress become acceptable behavior as Peter King wants us to believe. Paul was right, lying to Congress is criminal behavior. Peter King needs to go as do most in Congress who have turned this into a very lucrative job. How about Congress serve the people instead of the people serving Congress.

    December 20, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  14. LUCINDA

    Can't stand either politician. Think I dislike Rand Paul more though.

    December 20, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    I blame the Republican, who was trying to play dumb, who asked the question in an open hearing. I agree with King. Paul is trying to create a false "he lied" narrative. Clapper was under oath to reveal classified information in a public hearing. Paul knows the actaul facts, but wants to mischaracterize Clapper. Maybe, Paul should be the one resigning for lying to the publicc.

    December 20, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  16. NewsWatcher

    "...fuels unhealthy cynicism and distrust that citizens feel toward their government"??? Pssst!!! That's YOU, Congress! Pot...meet kettle.

    December 20, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. ilrednk

    Jim,
    I agree. It's politics as usual. A liar isn't a liar, a lie isn't a lie, an oath isn't an oath. That's why our "leaders" in Washington have as much credibility as professional wrestling. I know this isn't new, but to call someone a patriot who lied, under oath, to Congress gives us some good insight. I can now assume Mr. King sees this as acceptable behavior, he himself would subscribe to it, and that he can be trusted as far as I can spit toward Washington.

    December 20, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  18. RDH

    Who's Peter kidding? He would be behind bars if the truth came out about his collusion with military contractors. Pete go take your orwellian double speak to jail with you, do not pass go, and do not collect 200 million dollars in kick backs after you retire.

    December 20, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  19. MIR314

    I am no Rand Paul fan, but that does not matter; the fact is that he is right! The problem is not Paul or King, the problem is accountability; more specifically the lack of it that people in public (government service) feel they owe to the American people. A LIAR is a LIAR, and when the Liar happens to be in a position of public trust (executive, legislative, judicial, military, etc.), the public is at risk. The General lied to Congress. Perjury is a punishable offense that carries jail time, why is he not in jail and facing courts martial? The answer...Accountability (or the lack thereof).

    December 20, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  20. ilrednk

    @John
    You are missing the point that the Congressman who asked the question, briefed Mr. Clapper before the session started. Clapper knew the question was coming, knew what was really happening, and instead of saying "sorry, that's classified and can not be discussed in this forum", decided to lie, not only to Congress, but to the American People.

    December 20, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  21. ConcernedCitizenVoter

    If every politician that lied at some point should resign, we wouldn't have a functioning government! Least of all the big liar Rand Paul!

    December 20, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. ghostwriter

    If going before congress and the American people and lying is a crime.......

    December 20, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  23. Edward

    How interesting to watch the republicans divide into Shias and Sunnis.

    December 20, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  24. Jeb

    Paul speaks the truth and the establishment throws a hissy fit.

    December 20, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  25. Carl

    this taxpayer and generally a non-republican supporter says rand was right on with his comments. king is the one that is full of crap

    December 20, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
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