(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.
Who writes this garbage? "A review of NSA surveillance ordered by President Barack Obama and released recommended changes to the..." "and released recommended changes?" The review didn't release changes, it contained recommended changes. Also, can someone explain to Rep. King that DNI Clapper is no longer a General? DNI is a higher office than General so it's no longer proper to refer to him as General any more than it would be to call him Maj. Clapper. As a 15 year vet, seeing a politician trying to pander to DNI Clapper's service is disrespectful and insulting.
Peter King....Hmmmm. I think I'll go with Snowden & Paul. I fully approve of Snowden the whistle blower.
Everyone is upset that "Clapper lied under oath." No, he didn't. He had already taken an oath to never reveal classified information in public. The question should have never been asked in an open hearing. Should Clapper have requested a private session to answer the question? Most definitely, that would have been best. He did't. He obfuscated the truth, which was his sworn duty to protect.
Got it backwards KING, you are the one who should resign.
Wait, is this the same Peter King who spend the 60's and 70's funding the IRA as they terrorized Britain? That Peter King?
Clapper lied – period. He admitted to being less than candid. What would have happened to you or I if we had done such? I suspect we would have experienced punitive measures in accordance with the law, with a bunch of foaming mouthed politicians vilifying one or other of us in the media. The kid glove treatment of Clapper speaks for itself. The concept that people in government are above the law, and non accountable, is very dangerous, and may well account for the current total mess that is our government at almost every level.
Pretty bold statement coming from a plagiarist. King's right. Paul is a disgrace for pretending he didn't know that Clapper was under oath to NOT REVEAL the truth in a public forum.
Rand Paul is a physician not a lawyer. He has had to deal in a universe that represent truth not political garbage.
Clapper and Obama are of the same cloth. LIARS.
I'm just really tired of this. People like Peter King should be locked up. Rand Paul is our only hope and the only one brave enough to stand up to these criminals that run our country. Sadly I don't think he can do it alone. Rand Paul for president!
I am thankful that I don't live in Kentucky. I can't imagine the embarrassment of intelligent, down-to-earth people in Kentucky to be represented by two ignorant senators who are led by the nose by the tea party rather than thinking for themselves. These two are nothing but racial bigots who can't stand to see a black man in the White House. It seems that every day they show their total disregard for America and their abject hatred for anyone who is not like them. I am a white, 68-year old female and retired teacher. I taught my students to keep an open mind and look for the best in all people. Someone did not teach McConnell and Rand this.
Is Rand Paul right? How confidence inspiring is this congress? Are they to be trusted implicitely to put the nation above politics? I myself cannot blame anyone for doubting that.
Not only Rand is a disgrace, but the entire Republicans in the Congress and Senate. They are the worst ever to serve in this government. Rand Paul is a failed dentist, who had to move to congress to make a living and become a millionaire as Republicans do that. The Lobbyist pay them big bucks to be their voice.
>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.
No, as I recall the recommended changes were 'no changes'.
Reminds me of movies where the cover story is continued to be announced even though no one believes it. Snowden is my personal hero. Traitor? He's American as they come. Lives by conviction and does right, no matter what the consequence.
They all lie!! They all get caught, they all say its not there fault? Snowden told the truth!!!! Power to the people vote independent and get these people out of office before we have an uprising!!! Track that nsa
It is a FACT that Clapper lied to congress. Look up what he testified, and then look at what information has been leaked since then. Forget about resigning, he perjured himself and should be held accountable (in prison).
It's very difficult for the rest of the government when 1 guy is out there telling the truth.
Snowden is a hero...the NSA and government is far worst than Nazi Germany Regime ever was with spying on it's own citizens.
Give me a break.
i do not see what paul said as being wrong. i do see king is once again showing his ignorance
Remember "A Few Good Men"..."you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall"...and "all you did today...was weaken a county"
The entire crew of Teapublicans should resign or be fired.
He should have said that he couldn't answer. I'm not sure how that works but he was in a tough spot. These senators whould know better than to ask questions like that. It was a setup. More than likely paul already knew about the program. I'm sure our senators have top secret clearance.
I agree with Mr. King.
Rand Paul must be forgetting who he works for, he's acting like some kind of representative of regular people or something. King's there to remind him. Now if I could just figure out who they really work for.
I find it thoroughly entertaining, watching the far right eating each other alive.
I'm confused. How is Clapper a patriot for lying to Congress about violating rights of citizens, but President Clinton deserved to be impeached for...well...you know, something far less serious? I sure hope King didn't vote in favor of impeaching him.