(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.
Clapper is a liar, and Ryan called him out. King is a McCain-style warmongering bully who needs to be gotten rid of next election cycle.
Two completely idiotic public servants. Neither one has a clue about what they're talking about, but that sure won't stop them. Each has a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting nominated for the presidency. Thank God!
Snowden is a hero, not a traitor.
Rep. Peter King... acts as a paid for puppet for the State of Israel and like a Mossad Agent... perhaps he is.
Thank GOD we have patriots like Senator Rand Paul to stand up for the United States of America and sniff out traitors like Rep. Peter King. Time to kick out AIPAC's representatives like Peter King and put in a Representative of the The People.. The American People.
Truth is now treason and disgrace. No wonder it's so rare in DC. No wonder Judge Leon said that NSA is "Orwellian".
Peter King will NEVER be the Republican candidate for president.
"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,"... That might have been a true statement up until last March, at which time he became a bold faced liar.
Don't blame Rand Paul. He cannot help being an idiot. Just look at his father.
LOL – King Is in no way, shape, or form considered a presidential candidate by the conservatives in this country
I don't think this is going to help Rep. King. I think a majority of the people aware of the situation have concluded Mr. Snowden is a true hero.
What Rand said was actually correct though. Clapper may think he's doing the right thing after all the time but the American people disagree. This is a dangerous road we are on. This is supposed to be a nation of freedom. Let's not have knee-jerk reactions to fear.
Republicans are finally figuring out that the Tea Party politicians are not good for their party, not good for America, and are the true RINOs. It is beyond time that the Tea Party becomes their own party in name. They have the numbers and have the financial backing and no longer have an excuse to keep living off the Republican teat.
I'm not a big fan of King , however I'll go with him over the initialed Aqua Buddha boy .
Randy Paul just reminds me of an egotistical jerk, t hen so dose Marco Rubio .
yep, here we go again....the tea party favorite, the extremists....the Republicans.....what a shame for this country!
Peter King is a disgrace to the United States. This is the same piece of fetid protoplasm that called Snowden a "traitor". He is irrelevant, and doesn't deserve anyone's attention.
If Clapper didn't want to talk about something that was classified, then his proper response should have been, "I'm sorry but I'm not authorized to talk about that subject." There is ZERO excuse what-so-ever for a government employee to lie to congress. You either answer their question or say "no comment". When an employee like Clapper lies to his top boss (congress) it subverts not only the entire purpose of congress but our democracy itself. Clapper and the NSA have no authority, funding, or legal permission to do ANYTHING beyond what congress has authorized them to do. Therefore Clapper and the NSA have zero justification at all to ever mislead congress. That doesn't mean the NSA has to answer every question. It simply means they have to ALWAYS tell the truth or nothing. Lying to congress is simply not an option.
You know, weirdly, I absolutely agree with Rand Paul.
Well, it's a good thing that Clinton didn't disgrace the office of President of the United States. Yeah, that's a good thing.
Enough with the frothed-up poutrage already, republicans.
Oh I get it!
Lie to a bunch of liars = patriot. -– Expose a bunch of lies = traitor.
To lie under oath is perjury. James Clapper committed perjury. Perjury is a crime. James Clapper should be on trial.
If James Clapper thinks Snowden should go on trial, than he should be self righteous enough to believe he should go to trial for perjury. As touched as I am by Rep. King's loyalty to James Clapper, President Obama, the NSA and as of last week 60 Minutes after their great one sided infomercial on the NSA. I find it pathetic anyone, especially an elected representative, is willing to take everything they are told as fact without doing at least some research. Without the information provided by Snowden the American people and Congress would have no idea about these programs. Thus, prior to Snowden there was NO oversight! This leaves the possibility of Machiavellian leaders or future Machiavellian leaders with the power to create an unstoppable Orwellian state. Once they have control anyone that tries to stop them could easily be blackmailed by their own data, discredited (James Rosen) or even even killed (Michael Hastings).
Rand Paul sure has pushed Sara Palin out of the top GOP spot for stupidity and trying to achieve brownie points from the misinformed.
What's really amazing is that the NSA thinks their action are OK.
Snowden did nothing wrong by exposing wrong acts of an agency that is supposed to have our best interest in mind.
And not our minds in their best interest.
Peter King is not a very quality statesman anyway.
All of congress and some the senate have disgraced their offices.
Every single member of Congress is disgracing their office on a daily basis. What is Mr. King's point?
Peter King is a disgrace....wish I could help vote him out of office with more than just my money, but he doesn't live where I live....and I can't afford NY taxes.
The Intelligence community should worry less about "appearing credible" and just focus on keep us safe. – am I the only one who really isn't that concerned that the government knows I use the internet or whatever?
rand paul is an inflamatory tea bagger.why would anyone care what he has to say?