(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.
Rand Paul is scary because he actually believes what he peddles.
Rand Paul is right, and if Peter King wants to alert a sizable portion of his political base not to vote for him – he's got it.
Peter King – you are a disgrace for not standing up for truth, and not respecting Congress enough to expect testimony to be truthful before Congress.
This is too basic for you to miss it.
roger – Clapper got caught in a lie. Rand Paul doesn't like liars. What's the problem?
Nothing if you're a hypocrite.
When two idiots clash...
Why even have people testify at a congressional hearing that also have to respect classified information?
Rand Paul is a smart guys and he does not take crap from anyone, republican or democrat. I respect him.
""He apologized for the confusion caused by his response "
He apologized for the confusion caused by intentionally lying to Congress – there fixed that for you.
The most ANNOYING thing about this phone records and other data collection is the LYING & EXAGGERATION by the NSA and others about how effective it is in preventing terrorism (NOT!) These agencies and their heads tell us that "OVER FIFTY" terrorist plots have been thwarted, yet they admit in secret private conversations with Senators that AT MOST IT IS TWO." This is the classic ploy of intelligence agencies: make the public believe they are incredibily effective so they get even more money. And when the public says PROVE IT, they respond by saying, "Sorry, but that's SECRET"
"Sorry, but that's SECRET."
That's exactly what the Bush administration said TO THE CONGRESS about the source of their intelligence about Iraqi WMDs. People forget that their were U.N. weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq. They'd been there for a couple of years looking for WMDs, and finding absolutely nothing.
It's going to be fun watching Rand Paul's Presidential campaign crash and burn.
Republicans eating their own to further their own political careers. Big shock I know.
It is funny how the GOP/Tea has become the people that don't trust government and want to kill it. I guess that is what changes from when you are in the driver's seat to when you lose the election. If they didn't like it why did they pass the Patriot Act under Bush? It's so screwed now that we can't repeal it without releasing everyone in GITMO with no charges. You can't unscrew Bush's pooch.
Runt or Rant Paul, as we call him here in Kentucky, is a disgrace to the human race. A little twerp who was born with a silver foot in his mouth and has no clue about how normal human beings live. What a joke! President? Maybe president of the Rich-Boys-Hate-Poor-People-Because-We're-Better-Than-Them Club, but never President of the United States.
Are we now living in the Bizzaro World?
Let's see: a public official lies before a Senate committee, Rand Paul calls out the guy for lying and Paul is supposed to be the bad guy?
The bigger question is why wasn't National Intelligence Director James Clapper fired when it was determined he was lying to the Senate Committee?
Furthermore, Peter King has clearly lost his mind and should be admitted to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Rand Paul is an addle-headed cretin unworthy of any office. Confused whether to feign as a Republican, Libertarian, or Tea Party hack, he mashes all these ideologies into a fabric all his own. One that few can see workable at any level.
He's a fake.
Everything is over the top anymore. You are a traitor if you talk (Snowden) or if you don't (Clapper).
They should handle this like our forefathers. Pistols at dawn behind the building. Maybe then people would stop calling people Hitler, Snowden, etc. for small mistakes. He withheld information that was classified at the time because he did not have authorization to release it. Regardless of whether you disagree with the program or not, he should not be called a traitor (or insinuated). A liar, maybe, not a traitor.
I live on Long Island and can assure you.. Peter King is a bully whose anger and animosity towards anyone who doesn't walk in lock-step with him is so prominent it is actually etched into his face.
Paul is NOT the GOP base.
rep king is a republican of yesterday. today's republicans are libertarian-leaning. wake up, buddy. yeah, keep trying to sell that "isolationism". you have already got us isolated by making us hated where they used to adore us!
Free market economy – free trade – STRONG, CAPABLE MILITARY AT HOME READY TO STRIKE TO DEFEND!
We need to get this guy and his buddy McCain and other RINOs OUT!
liars, all of them, goooo snowden and many more like you, you'll seee.
Pot, meet kettle.
Let's argue about Democrats vs. Republicans instead of worrying about that whole spying thing. It's the OTHER team's fault! It's Congress's fault... well except for MY congressman of course.
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?
It would seem that there are millions of people who believe that there are possibly millions of terrorists in the U.S. That would be a slice out of the gun hugging crowd, living in bunkers.
Seems to me there is a question as to whether Clapper would have been releasing "Classified" or "Top Secret" information.
I wonder how King drew the short straw. Somewhere, there was a meeting and someone had to be picked to attack Rand Paul and reveal himself as a shill for the NSA. King must be a low dog to have been picked.
R. Paul is just as big a looser whack job as his father.