December 19th, 2013
08:56 PM ET
8 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. james

    So far, it appears that Mr. Clapper has told some significant lies, and time has proven to show that Mr. Snowden's comments are true. Perhaps Mr. King is the one who has disgraced his office by not actually studying the issues before opening his mouth and making false accusations.

    December 19, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. G. T. Simpson

    Peter King makes RINO's look good! Time for him to switch parties – he would make a great Demo-Crap!

    December 19, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. John Marshall

    peter king for president '16. he is one of the few normal people on the hill

    December 19, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. noel jones

    king a candidate? that's funny.

    December 19, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. rl

    I agree he is a disgrace, just not necessarily just for this.

    December 19, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  6. SPW

    A traitor like Snowden lol

    December 19, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. Dave - Phx

    blah blah blah, you are all a disgrace

    December 19, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  8. Michael

    King needs to zip his lips, he is a disgrace not Rand Paul !

    December 19, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. Matt

    Rep King and Clapper are the traitors. Paul is generally a fool, but he's right about this. Patriots make personal sacrifices to make their country a better place, like Snowden. Rep King and Clapper sacrifice our rights to consolidate their own power and exert control over the American people. Rep King is the next McCarthy, hopefully he exits this world the same way his red scare predecessor did.

    December 19, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  10. Joe Plumber

    Good for King. But he has about as much chance of becoming president at Rand Paul.

    December 19, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Redeye Dog

    Here comes all the political slandering for a position in 2014!!!

    December 19, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. Alex

    This is coming from a guy that actively supported IRA terrorism.

    December 19, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. mannyv

    Peter King doesn't know the meaning of the word disgrace. If he did, he'd realize that the real disgrace is that the American government is spying on its own people for only one reason: because it can. Collect all the intel you want overseas. In the US, we don't want to trade our laws for the government's good intentions.

    December 19, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  14. Ed in Texas

    The person who "disgraced" his position/office was the one who lied under oath

    December 19, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. Josh Tobin

    Peter king is vile and disgusting. How on Gds green earth is he still in office? How?

    December 19, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Larry

    For once I agree with Rand Paul. I think he is right on in this assesment.

    December 19, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. TexanWarrior

    One of the few times I ever agree with Peter King, if but for different reasons. Yes, Paul Ryan disgraced the office by his shameful stab of the retired military in the back.

    December 19, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. ED1

    Tells it like it is you should try it sometime like the rest of Congress.

    You and all the elected people in DC work for me not yourself.

    Start acting like adults and get the job done and stop all the he said she said crap.

    December 19, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. BB33

    Mr. King needs to sit down. Americans expect honesty from its public servants, not political bloviation.

    December 19, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Rick S.

    When an official like Gen. Clapper is asked about he existence of a top secret program in a public hearing, what options does he have, other than lying? If he confirms that it exists, he blows the entire program. If he refuses to answer, he's effectively confirming that it exists. HE HAS NO OPTION BUT TO LIE in order to live up to his oath to protect and defend the country.

    The breach here was committed by Rand Paul. He, and other Senators and Congressmen, know better than to ask about top secret programs in a public forum. Doing so damages the security of our country.

    December 19, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  21. Blue Republican

    Paul is correct, and Clapper is a drama queen. Power and responsibility to the people.
    Republicans are toast and by rigging elections(see the republican primaries) so that the status quo stays in office they are just killing their party in the long run and standing in the way of progress.

    December 19, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  22. jillyjo

    I'd say the NSA endangers Americans far more than anything Snowden ever did. Hypocrisy of the highest order.

    December 19, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  23. Hortonkeepstryingtohearwho

    Peter King is always frothing at the mouth with his monthly overwrought histrionics.

    Please escort him to the time-out, nap area where he can calm down. His odd, co-dependence and defense of fallible government agencies shows he is a follower, not and never will be a leader. Presidential aspirations? I sincerely hope not, for all our sakes.

    December 19, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  24. Steve

    Thank you Senator Paul for being our guardian of civil liberties and calling Clapper what he is, an admitted liar and congressional perjure. His not being charged is demonstration of an ugly evolution of American society and paranoia where some such as Clapper are now above the law. Please stand fast against these injustices and defense industrial chronies like Rep King who wish to achieve their dream of bankrupting America's civil liberty values.

    December 19, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  25. AR

    while i have no problem with rand paul being made a mockery well before he attempts to run for presidency, saying he is a disgrace for this reason is just play stupid.

    December 19, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
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