(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.
Coming from a Guy Who had his Self penned books in the background pointing into the CNN camera
not just 1 book but 4 of them in his CNN interview yesterday.
This guy is all ME me ME, take him with a pinch of salt
Rand Paul > Peter King
@Tom: "Rand Paul is correct. Clapper should resign for lying."
When Rant chose to not re-certify with the American Board of Ophthalmology (the national organization that does this), he organized his own certifying program for ophthalmology (based not only in his hometown, but in his HOUSE). He then appointed himself president of the group (named the National Board of Ophthalmologists) AND declared his wife (not a doctor) the Vice President and his father-in-law secretary.
Rant lied to his patients about being legitimately accredited as an ophthalmologist – he needs to resign NOW.
Let's see, we want to be safe but not track our foes (and ourselves).... Every Day the NSA collects 5 BILLION bits of info-200 analysts scroll through them...that's 25 MILLION texts and emails per analyst...Ok, it's a big deal that our info goes to storage–same stuff we give to facebook and amazon every day with our tweets, posts and purchases ...i guess tech has justy gone too far ...But hey, we asked for it! we wanted ALL the tecnology! and we want to be SAFE! Guess that's why 80% of all painkillers in the world are consumed by Americans...our senses are completely dulled...twenty six school shootings since Sandy Hook– very impressive ...
Peter King is a chicken hawk. I can't take anything he says seriously.
The NSA surveillance is being done under laws passed in an expansion of the Patriot Act under George W. Bush. Republicans LOVED those expansions then. Talk about two-faced!
what a joke the US political system is. Snowden will not get a fair trial, when the entire US government is publically labeling him a traitor. THE NSA IS BIG BROTHER, spying on millions of people? ARE THERE MILLIONS OF TERRORISTS IN THE US? really? Anyways, while you oppress Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Eric SNowden, these people are simply whistleblowers, journalists, THEY ARE SHARING THE TRUTH ABOUT these abuses of power. When will you sheep wake up, WHEN WILL SOMEONE DEFEND THESE DEFENDERS?
@dvdcrr: "Rep. King does not place a high value on personal liberties such as freedom of speech. His views place the welfare and operation of the gov. far above the welfare of the people."
I'm betting you're also one of those people who thinks President Obama reveals too much information to our enemies, right? Yet when Clapper refuses to release classified information, your panties instantly bunch up.
What the Right forgets, is that thier demi-God Bush opened this can of worms. After the 9-11 bombings, the power to spy on everyone without warrants was blindly given to GW Bush and his neo-cons by saying the word "terrorism" as part of the Patriot Act. Now that a liberal is President, the Tea Party and the Righ don't like the power they gave Bush and his war mongers. If you were against the Patriot Act when it was 1st passed you were called "anti-American." How soon we forget, or how soon the GOP hopes we forget. Just like the individual mandate for health inssurance, that the GOP fully backed and supported, until a Democrat actually adopted it...The GOP is doing nothing productive for the country. They even abandon thier own good ideas as soon as a liberal says, "That's a good idea".
That doesn't matter to them. The fact that Obama is now using "this can of worms" completely absolves Bush and the GOP of anything bad that this can of worms has caused.
As much as I don"t like King the man is making sense, these Rethuglicans are scary, they are like the American Taliban.One has to wonder if they want us attacked again just so they can lay the blame on you know who "Obama",they prefer to see the entire country fail just to lay blame whether its the economy or what ever.
I love it when the GOP implodes!
@ThomasE – 'king isn't even a real republican'... that's a compliment. paul has no room to talk and snowden is a traitor... A bad day for the baggers...
Over 2/3 of Americans think govt is too big and obtrusive. It is in the way of progress and spying on our own people.
Hope I dont get screwed for writing out about it! King is a goofy nut. Obama might want to put King in his cabinet along with the rest of those America hating freedom hating Capitalism hating leeches and whackos!
I don't often agree with Rand, but he is spot on on this one.
As far as disgracing the office? I'm reminded of a scene from 30 Rock where Kenneth makes a remark about not wanting to disgrace the peacock, and Jack very matter of factly informing him that that ship has long sailed. Same with congress, not much you could do now to disgrace it....
This is one reason why King formed his anti-tea party PAC. Good for him.
Clapper got caught in a lie. Rand Paul doesn't like liars. What's the problem?
More like Peter King should be jailed for his failure to uphold the constitution he swore to protect.
I disagree with Rand Paul on a great number of things, but his stance on the NSA, drone warfare, and domestic spying is something I can follow him on.
King used to be a stand up guy...... now he is just a lack Reidesque lackey....
Paul is a stand up guy which is wghy the rest of the GOP does not recognize his value to America
Peter king is a stooge for the wall street banking cartel. Who the hell even cares what this waste of space known as peter king has to say?
Not being able to trust a thief hiding in a foreign country
Not being able to trust the national security director responsible for protecting us
Vote here, which is more damaging
Is it funny that I feel like King, Paul, and Clapper should *all* resign and have all disgraced their offices, for different reasons?
Peter king is a stooge for the wall street banking cartel. Who cares what this waste of space known as peter king has to say?
The Guy is a traitorous wretch and needs to rot in prison with the rest of his lot.
King is a disgrace to the country. Never mind the office.
Hang in there Rand! You're one of the few I respect.