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. bear

    King is one of these guys who would put a camera in everyone's home if he could. He struts around claiming to be a fiscal conservative until its pork time in NY.

    December 19, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  2. Joe

    Rep King and Clapper are FULL OF CRAP. Clapper didn't "cause confusion," he LIED UNDER OATH, and in the process, covered up a crime. Clapper is a CRIMINAL. He should be BEHIND BARS. And King is a moron.

    December 19, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  3. bear

    Clapper lied to congress. Perjured himself. Should be put on trial. So should Snowden.

    December 19, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  4. tupperhouse

    So Peter King thinks it is OK to lie to congress? Martha Stewart went to jail for lying to a lowly FBI agent.

    December 19, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. PtBarnumBoy

    Better be careful Mr. King, they'll boil you in Lipton's tea and pour you out.

    December 19, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  6. Robert N. constant

    Conservative Republicans have a long history of being "Chicken hawks" , generally avoiding military service by deferments. Randy Paul ( aka Rand) is one more conservative Republican who has never been in the military. That is not surprising. The traitor Edward Snowden donated money to his father's 2012 political campaign, and Ron Paul is one of the traitor's Snowden's defenders, going so far as expressing fear that the CIA will kill him.
    A day ago Rand Paul attacked General James Clapper for not sharing CIA Classified material with a Congressional Committee. Rand compared Clapper to the traitor Snowden and called for his resignation for lying to Congress.
    I do not always agree with Peter King, but in this instance he is right on the money.
    I do not blame Clapper for not sharing classified information with any group of people which included Ron or Randy Paul who have publicly supported the traitor Edward Snowden. General Clapper does not have to prove his courage or patriotism. He has done that already. Randy Paul owes this Patriot an apology.

    December 19, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. Traitor King

    King has it all wrong. Paul should apologize to Snowden. Everything else Paul said was right.

    December 19, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  8. comment

    Rep. Peter King = disgusting. He is an enemy of the republic. The NSA likely had intel on him and using it against him to make him its puppet.

    December 19, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. StrategicBob

    Representative King is frequently wrong but this shows he can occassionally hit the nail right on the (pin)head. Senator Rand Paul is as nutty as a Snickers Bar. These out of control electronic surveillance programs are yet another bit of the ill-considered Bush-Cheney overreaction to the events of 9/11 that has hurt this nation far worse than al Qaeda ever has. But Snowden's actions were, as Rep King states, treason of the worst sort. Many TEA lnPartiers and members of the Lyndon Larouche aluminum-foil-hat brigade think Snowden is a hero. On this, as on almost everything else, they are wrong.

    December 19, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  10. william

    Clapper should resign he lied to congress. When others lie they are brought up on charges of lying to congress, but clapper goes scott free. We truely have a 2 justice system in this country. I don't agree with Rand Paul on much but this i do agree with. Clapper should leave NSA, and never hold an office in the US government again. He can't be trusted.

    December 19, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  11. JSB

    King should stop posturing. As much as I don't like R Paul he hit the nail right on the head with his comments.

    December 19, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  12. Josh from Austin

    Peter King: Paul disgraced his office by putting up really tacky Christmas decorations.

    December 19, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  13. The Crow

    Appologize....for what??? So...he embarassd your office and because he spoke the truth....you want an appolgy. Yep...makes perfect sense to me (sigh).

    December 19, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  14. Eric Krehemker

    Rep. King is an idiot for saying this. Edwartd Snowden did what he did because he thought the NSA was wrong, that it eroded the liberty that we hold dear. And he was right. If not for Edward Snowden we would not even know what was going on. Clapper on the other hand did something he knew was wrong, lying under oath to Congress. He should be fired. ANd for what reason did he lie? to try and keep the cover on the big secret that the administration was trying to keep hidden. Rep. King apparaently does not see the difference between doing the right thing in the interest of conscience as opposed to doing the wrong thing in the interest of political expediency.

    December 19, 2013 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  15. annieL

    Why does CNN not capitalize "Tea Party." When they say "tea party-backed" is looks like a group of prim and proper women sipping tea from fine china decided to take up a collection for a Congressman. Isn't there an actual organization calling itself the Tea Party?

    December 19, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  16. yogi

    The GOP 2016 presidential potential candidates freak show is already on it's way, and it will be even freakier than the last time around. The GOP is making noise to limit the number of debates in the primaries because they realize fully that none of the candidates is presidential material, and the damage they will do to each other will make the job for any democrat so much easier.

    December 19, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  17. Crampon

    Yep, it's not fair to Snowden to be compared to this administration, Obama's leaks have actually got people imprisoned.

    December 19, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  18. cgvet

    The only two things you need to know about Peter King: #1 gun grabber #2 voted to reduce veteran pensions to pay for illegal alien benefits.

    December 19, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  19. Crampon

    Clapper is a crook, and anyone who cannot see that is a crook.

    December 19, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. EARL THEROUX

    Mr. King is just another one of those people that doesn't want to stand up for what is right and the truth.

    December 19, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  21. Bill In STL

    that's funny.... If Paul believes that was the case and states it ... it is like to normal people disagreeing on any issue... sheesh ..

    December 19, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  22. annieL

    The problem with expecting intelligence officials to tell the truth is that their jobs are all about keeping secrets. If Senator Paul wants the whole truth about the NSA he will first have to disband the NSA and declassify all its records.

    December 19, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  23. rheena

    Rep. King is a sanctimonious fear monger.

    December 19, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. greg shepard

    Rep King needs reflect on the expectations of a nation has for a General vs. Snowden. Snowden broke a trust to tell an inconvenient truth, the General told a lie. The General should have been prepared for the question. He is not the first person to be asked a question regarding classified information. It was not just a "clearly erroneous" answer. He shouldn't have lied.

    December 19, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Pete

    It's Peter King who should resign. Sen. Paul simply told the truth, unlike Mr. Clapper who lied flagrantly and repeatedly.

    December 19, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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