December 19th, 2013
08:56 PM ET
7 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. CWT

    King is the thug. NSA uncontrolled is doomsday.

    December 19, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  2. Dennis

    Sen.Paul continually makes statements and usually has to extract both feet from his mouth later.He needs to return to the backwoods of Kentucky and hang his head in shame at the ridiculous,absurd,and bizarre things he has said in the last few years.Sen.Paul is not fit,rational or coherent enough to hold office in the halls of Congress.He is an absolute embarrassment to this country in all political aspects.

    December 19, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. ok

    Rand Like his daddy Ron are just trying to get the conspiracy theorist hyped up......Noone takes him serious.

    December 19, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  4. youraverage

    The liar is the traitor, not the truth teller...

    December 19, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  5. Ajax

    What a surprise. What do you really expect from a fool like Rand Paul?

    December 19, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  6. elliott carlin

    Peter King and the IRA is about all you need to know. This clown never met a war he didn't like. RP has more character in a discarded booger than this cad.

    December 19, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. jim

    If Clapper was an average guy, he'd be in jail for perjury! The bozo LIED to Congress !!!

    December 19, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  8. Chris

    Thanks for giving me another reason not to vote for you, King.

    Rand Paul is a patriot.

    December 19, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  9. Secret33

    That's just, like, your opinion..man.

    December 19, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  10. rick mcelyea

    mr.king, your a disgrace.your suppose to be a republican,yet the word liberal is stamped all over your face.

    December 19, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  11. Jim Beam

    "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."

    Uuhhh...everything Sen. Paul said is accurate, so why is an apology needed?

    December 19, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  12. Quixote

    It may be the pot calling the kettle black, but he is right. rand paul is a disgrace.

    December 19, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. NorCalMojo

    Aw hell, the GOP are sending their little attack dog at Paul.

    The war is on.

    December 19, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. luvUamerica

    This definitely takes the cake. King thinks there is a scandal under every rock, and everything that any Democrat does is treasonous, and everything the President does needs to be investigated. It is funny that he is turning his "scandalous" eyescope towards his fellow Tea Partier. He is the scandal king. He has a pension for creating a scandal, or a coverup out of nothing. And spend a lot of money investigating it.

    So, Rep. scandal King, please start a committee, and start investigating. There is a cover-up here.

    December 19, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  15. Zondar

    "Yes it was a lie – but I meant it in the nicest possible way."
    – General Clapper

    December 19, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. once a writer

    Nobody loathes Paul more than I, but when it comes to Clapper and the NSA he has it exactly right.

    December 19, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  17. cliffintex

    King is wrong – Rand did not disgrace his office. King is trying to act as though the House is the Senate. It isn't. It was by design that the House is elected every two years – to make it contentious. Agree or disagree with Rand as you will, but he acted in full authority with his office.

    December 19, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  18. Javier

    Peter – shut up....Rand Paul was correct, period. GO HOME

    December 20, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  19. J Vranish

    Bottom line is this general lied under oath to the representatives of the People. That cannot be tolerated in a democracy. He had the choice of just not answering the question unless it was to the house select intel comm., if he felt that the people's representatives did not have "need to know". But in his arrogance, he willfully chose to Lie. He has violated not only the Law, but his own branch service honor Code. At the very least he should resign. I think he should be thrown in federal prison for a good bit. If not for Snowden (who at least was telling the truth), these clowns would still be lying as they scheme to slip this country into some Orwellian nightmare. All for personal power and to ingratiate himself with the Powers that be that are loving their ability to go after their critics.

    December 20, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  20. OlRockCandyMtnRoustabout

    EVERYTHING about Rand and this new tparty's way of doing American politics disgraces and dishonors this nation. They have given us NOTHING but manufactured dysfunction and the waste it has created. They are LITERALLY staining our soil and flag with their EVERY step. Just as they have planned from their beginning.

    December 20, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  21. Johnny

    What Snowden did was open the pages to the Patriot law that was signed by all, never read this law now lays exposed page by page on how the government would keep you safe. Not a best seller.

    December 20, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  22. sdgman

    Gotta agree... Rand Paul is an idiot. But people love that sort of bloviating!

    December 20, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. Dr Tod Policandriotes

    The people who are disgracing the government are those that lie, cheat and steal from the taxpayers. Those that do not do their jobs for which they were elected or appointed to do and do not take responsibility for the mistakes they make. It is more honorable to admit when you make an error rather than trying to make excuses for messing up. Be accountable for the orders you give or the not so legal activities. Just because some person in government has a good record for 20 years does not make them infallible or unaccountable for mistakes they make yesterday, today or tomorrow.

    December 20, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  24. CryBabies

    Can you say ..."Cat Fight"?

    December 20, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  25. Hank Buford

    The NSA probably has dirt on Peter King. He is a lapdog of the surveillance industry and no defender of the 4th Amendment right to privacy from unwarranted government intrusions. I'm no fan of Rand Paul but at least he understands the 4th Amendment and he can spot a liar.

    December 20, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
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