Rep. Peter King (R-NY) blasted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Thursday for comparing National Security Agency Director James Clapper to Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked classified information about America’s surveillance programs.
Paul criticized Clapper on Wednesday for “lying” to Congress about the extent of NSA’s programs.
“That Clapper is lying to Congress is probably more injurious to our intelligent capabilities than anything Snowden did,” Paul said on CNN. “Clapper has damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence apparatus and I’m not sure what to believe anymore when they come to Congress.”
King, who has been making moves toward a possible 2016 presidential candidacy, slammed Paul, another potential candidate, on Thursday.
“He disgraced his office and he owes Gen. Clapper an apology immediately,” he said on CNN. “The fact is Gen. Clapper was put in an impossible position because the senator who asked the question had already gotten the information in a classified setting. He knew Gen. Clapper could not give the full answer because it would let our enemies know what we were doing. The question was wrong.”
Asked about a letter other Republican lawmakers have signed calling for Clapper’s resignation, King was even more indignant.
“That comes from the isolationist wing of the party,” he said. “That goes back to the days of Charles Lindbergh. These are people who are apologizing for America. To me, that is not the Republican tradition, that is not the tradition of Ronald Reagan. It’s the tradition of Charles Lindbergh and the radical left wing Democrats of the 1960s.”