June 18th, 2013
05:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Rand Paul: James Clapper was lying

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's director of national intelligence was flat-out lying when he told lawmakers in March the government wasn't collecting data on millions of Americans, Sen. Rand Paul asserted Tuesday.

The Kentucky Republican suggested intelligence chief James Clapper had lost all credibility in the wake of intelligence leaks showing information on phone calls and internet usage being collected by the National Security Agency,

"The director of national intelligence, in March, did directly lie to Congress, which is against the law," Paul told CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta on "The Situation Room."

"He said they were not collecting any data on American citizens, and it turns out they're collecting millions of data on phone calls every day," Paul continued. "So it was a lie. What I'm saying is that by lying to Congress, which is against the law, he severely damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence community."

In March, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, asked Clapper whether the NSA collects "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans."

"No sir," Clapper responded, adding later: "It does not. Not wittingly."

Disclosures of top secret surveillance programs this month showed the government issuing requests to telecommunication firms for millions of phone call records, though collecting actual content of those phone calls requires further authorization.

Paul questioned Clapper's ability to continue in his post Tuesday, saying he couldn't "imagine how he would regain his credibility, when you lie."

The senator – who has said he's considering a run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination – added that Clapper wouldn't have a place in his own White House.

"He would not work in my administration," Paul said. "We have to be able to trust our officials. When you do this – have the ability to completely destroy people's lives, and the ability to actually kill people overseas – I would think you really have to have our utmost trust. And I think he's lost our trust by lying to us."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: James Clapper • NSA • Rand Paul
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    OF course Clapper lied. That's common knowledge that everyone knows already except the insane liberals.

    June 18, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. lolo428

    This little worm of a man really needs to go home to Kentucky and take care of his senior parents. He does not belong in politics period. It takes a liar to know a liar and lord knows that Rand Paul is the biggest liar of them all. Such a hypocrit. He will never be president so he needs to go stick his head in the sand,

    June 18, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. timverba

    The way around James Clapper's statement is that the government is not collecting data on millions of Americans. It is collecting data on phone numbers. Aaah, I think I just saved Mr. Clapper.

    June 18, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. tom l.

    Least untruthful would equal lying. I can't wait to see the liberals come on here and start berating Paul for sticking up for us.

    June 18, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    This is one divisive, scary guy. We would become the Hunger Games with him as POTUS.


    June 18, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. BigTBone

    Good thing we'll never have to worry about "your administration" you goofy goon.

    Someone has tainted the water in KY. It makes people delusional. Or into turtles.

    June 18, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. tom l.

    Tell me where he was a hypocrit. I'm dying to hear this one...

    June 18, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Bill

    Aqua Buddha needs to fitted for a straightjacket.

    June 18, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. tom l.

    You mean kinda like a president who says things like "you need to punish your enemies and reward your friends"? Divisive like that?

    June 18, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. PJ

    "He would not work in my Administration" – neither would Hillary Clinton, accoring to rand.
    Lucky for them, rand won't have an Administration, at least as POTUS.
    The Republicans new favorite word: "liar". They should know, they are very good at it.

    June 18, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. Bob

    Rand Paul has been lying his entire life.

    "Board certified".... yeah, BY A BOARD HE SET UP AND IS THE ONLY MEMBER OF......

    June 18, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. flashf0x

    So Rand Paul, if you were sworn to secrecy by our government and someone asked you a question about that very topic, would you honor your oath to the country or would you betray it and spill the beans? You make it sound so simple yet those of who must take an oath to secrecy really take it seriously. How easy it is to throw stones at others... just be careful about throwing stones in a glass palace.

    June 18, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    I have to say this . . . . the WH has a clapper and the rethugs have a crapo. Which one would you rather have? Lights out or a throne sitter?
    Maybe the next bombing from a terrorist (either foreign or domestic) should happen in KY. Let's see this imbecile crapo his pants when he realizes that his misunderstanding of what they are collecting was instrumental.
    The "man" who would take the country back to pre civil rights of the 60s. As a matter of fact he still thinks that if you have a restaurant and "people" you don't like (aka blacks, latinos, women, gays) come in you can deny them service.
    Way to go, I was going to say, Nazi. Yeah I'll go with Nazi.

    June 18, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Lacking any evidence to disprove someone's testimony? Afraid that their testimony was credible? Terrified that your preferred narrative has been undermined by contradictory evidence and is about to crumble? Well, have we got the solution for you: just call up your favorite MSM outfit and make baseless accusations that the perjury was committed!!! It's simple!!! They'll mindlessly broadcast the accusations all over the nation!!!! Just repeat after me..."no, that was a lie...liar liar pants on fire....lalalalalalalalala, I can't hear you I can't hear you I can't hear you I can't hear you I can't hear you!!!!!!"

    June 18, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Sure glad I'm not alone in feeling the Kentucky Aqua Buddha's brain has left the station !

    Rand Paul “I think I will sue the government” ... In no particular order, nor is this list complete, but: CIA, IRS, FBI, ATF, DOJ

    June 18, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. lolo428

    @ Tom I. He swears he is for America in one sentence and then turns around and says something totaly different, like Romney, he does not know what he beileves in. First he hates civil rights or liberties for that matter then turns around and says he did not mean it and changes his tune to get you to vote for him. He believes just like the rest of the GOP/TP whackos that all minorities no matter what race are on welfare and using the government when in actuality it is him and his croonies who are on government welfare, but they call it subsidies. Wake up man, Rand Paul is not for all people. The only thing Paul believes in is himself. Since you believe in him so much ask him and the rest of the GOP/TP obstructionist where is that job bill they promised in 2010? Besides he is a nut and that says it all for me. No MSNBC or any other news outlet led me to this conclusion, Paul did it all by himself..

    June 18, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. tom l.

    This is perfect. You are giving credibility to someone who said that he gave the "least untruthful" answer in previous testimony and you still back him. I wonder what you would say if he said that while Bush was president. Hmmmmm.

    Intellectualy dishonesty, thy name is Sniffit.

    June 18, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Cam

    The Bush administration came up with the Patriot act. Obama campaigned against it then he renewed it and expanded it. Now Obama is defending the Patriot act. Obama morphed into dick cheney.

    June 18, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. California Gary

    Rand Paul calling someone a liar is like Satan calling someone a devil.

    June 18, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    @liberal sense-And you know he lied, how. Did the Aqua Buddha enlighten you as well? Ya know Rand, when Hillary decides to run I think one thing will happen....since you never learned to respect your elders, she will teach you to respect your betters.

    June 18, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Snowden gets 'highest honor' from Cheney
    Need anymore profo this guy is a raving liberal lunatic? I sure don't.

    June 18, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  22. Lennon

    You know. It baffles me how many of you are simply taking political sides here. Listen. I was opposed to this when George Bush was doing it. And, I am opposed to this with Barack Obama doing it. To all of you Obama supporters. I have a question. When Obama said he would see to it that Americans would have their civil liberties. While they were able to find terrorists. But, now is saying the complete opposite. Why did he lie then? YES Obama lied. Why did he then lie to the American people when he said "No on is listening to your phone conversations" only to have the NSA come out and say "Yes we are" And, further more. And, I say this to the Democrats. Where the hell is your party at? Why are they not suing the NSA for violation of rights here? Where are the so called "Progressives" who feel the need to be hypocrites by discriminating against anyone who disagrees with them? In the end. We are not Democrats, or Republicans. We are Americans. And, as far as Rand Paul goes. I will support a Republican, a Democrat, or any person who defends, and protects the Constitution. And, yes. So far Libs. Rand is the ONLY one doing it. And, yes. He is a Republican. Maybe, some of you Democrats, and libs should try to step up to the plate. And, support our rights as American citizens. You seem to support rights for for every other miniority. And, I would like to see proof that this sort of ridiculous dragnet data mining. Has stopped a terror attack? Oh wait... The Boston Bombing still happend. And, if this was in place. I CAN PROMISE YOU 9/11 would have happend as well. The man power to do this just takes away from the man power that could be used to track down REAL terrorists. Not silly guilty until proven innocent tactics. Because, remember libs. What if a Republican gets in power. And, abuses the laws set in by Obama? Just saying.

    June 18, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  23. mitch

    I cannnnn't @ the folks coming here berating Paul and defending Clapper. Morons! You know damn well you would have been furious about this under Bush. And Paul WAS! He's been speaking out against these policies since at least 2006!

    I'm so thankful SOMEONE in this congress is speaking up. Who else would be if not for Rand? No one. We wouldn't hear a damn peep!

    June 18, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Tampa Tim

    Rand Paul lies like an Issa. He has no credibility.

    June 18, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Republicans live in fear. They are afraid of women, minorities, seniors, cartoons, gays, the middle class, college students,union workers, and a government by the people, for the people, and of the people. Their only hope to win is to lie like rug with the hope that the uninformed will believe them.

    June 18, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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