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. americancarsrule

    There's a comment above "Thank you republicans for the "Patriot Act" that allows the gov't to spy on Americans."

    Support for the Patriot act doesn't show how republicans are different from democrats, it show how they're the same. There are good democrats, and there are good republicans...few...Rand Paul is one of the good ones.

    June 18, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  2. Highland angler

    Clapper and every other person in this administration lies because they know they won't be prosecuted. The Obama legacy will be America's Great Administration of Fools.

    June 18, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  3. GC

    libs dont know why they hate him they just do!

    June 18, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein

    So, what proof does Paul have about this lying and what specifically about? Was any of this said during a public hearing where classified information can't be revealed?

    June 18, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Luke

    Finally someone tells it like it is I STAND WITH RAND

    June 18, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  6. theDrektor

    All politicians lie. I seem to remember Pres. Bush and VP Dick Cheney tell the people & Congress that we are not torture prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, over and over. They also said the oil from Iraq would completely repay us for our invasion. All acting lie. They always have. Common sense says we have to have some secrecy (they used to call it "confidential." They need to to protect us. Every administration since Washington has done it. That's how we've been around for 237 years. If we tell the enemy what we're planning or doing, what good is that. It is so logical; perhaps too logical for all sides.

    June 18, 2013 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Eyeroll

    Wow, by the looks of these comments I walked into the low IQ section of the internet...

    June 18, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. opinion8it

    "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".

    ..... what a joke, according to recent testimony, ALL of congress was briefed on the programs....including Mr. Rand "I like to call others liars when I'm the biggest liar of them all" Paul.

    June 18, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. John Morrison

    I cannot comprehend the intransigence of some people. You honestly don't care WHAT happens. If it was condoned by a democratic administration, then it is A-OK with you.

    You people are disgusting. Wrong is wrong no matter who is in office. The Patriot Act was wrong when Bush signed it, and it was wrong when Obama extended and expanded it.

    You folks are like the sheep in Animal Farm, just bleating your partisan sheep-song of "ONE PARTY GOOD, OTHER PARTY BAD". It would be comical if it wasn't so damned sad.

    June 18, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. rex burns

    Why is Rand Paul beginning to look Like Michell's Bachman -same wild eyes

    June 18, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  11. Evergreen

    Mr. Clapper's job is to keep the country safe. What is Rand Paul's job?

    June 18, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Steve

    Ahh, you liberal loons continue to have your heads buried in the Obama sand pile...

    June 18, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  13. Randy Cornell

    You Rand haters on here have zero credibility. If your perspective on an issue is solely determined by the party affiliation of the accused, then you are unprincipled and un-American.

    June 18, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. Michael Benjamin

    I feel so much better about the US with Rand Paul as a sitting senator – wink wink.

    June 18, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. theOX

    To all of you calling Rand a liar and a hypocrite, try backing it up with actual evidence instead of just resorting to your typical liberal name-calling tactic. The more you resort to name calling, the more you convince me that you're no more than a bunch of cowards.

    June 19, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. gorgegirl

    Clapper agrees that he should have told Senator Wyden that he would be happy to explain security programs behind closed doors. However, this little twit is digging a big hole for himself and he will soon be back to selling glasses.

    June 19, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  17. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Rand Paul is retarded and a liar. He is just angry that Obama is President. Rand Paul has a StOoPiD name just like he looks stoopID. This moron is more guilty than Snowden for trying to reveal U.S. classified information. The only reason he is in Congress is because he's the only one in his family that can read.

    June 19, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  18. regenesis0

    Have you seen footage of Clapper's testimony? He keeps palming his head and shifting around. The man knew he was lying, it was written all over his face.
    These people are weasels. Bring them in for SWORN testimony and when we find out later that they're lying (because they always lie) start putting them in prison.

    Agencies like the NSA are supposed to have oversight reigning them in. When they start lying to their oversight it isn't time to start firing people, it's time to start arresting them.

    June 19, 2013 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    I hope Clapper sues home-perm cautionary tale Rand Paul for slander – and takes everything he has, down to his fake medical credential.

    June 19, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  20. Santa

    So bring creepy Clapper up on charges.

    June 19, 2013 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  21. Joey

    hypocrite is sueing the same place you work and get paid from, while running for the highest office over looking government aka president, lieing about government is too big but signed the patriots act like everybody else, than making bills governing individual rights such as same sex and abortion bills, that has nothing to do with lowering our books and making jobs, that's a hypocrite.

    June 19, 2013 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  22. Ord_Miller

    "He would not work in my administration," Paul said. LOL Sen Randy Depends thinks his poodle-hair wig is already in the WH. What a sleaze.

    June 19, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  23. jdun

    Monitoring phone calls made and received is not collecting data on citizens. Now, looking at bank accounts or credit card purchases- that would be collecting data.

    June 19, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  24. king

    so i guest if someone in media ask the CIA if they are spying on china, the CIA director should say yes. i wonder if these backward repubs understand what classified information means. that means lying about sensitive things that is vital to the nations security. i wonder if these repubs have ever been in the white house or know what secrecy means. wasn't bush a republican president?

    June 19, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  25. Julian Alien

    I would feel safer with this man as President.

    June 19, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
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