Paul On Obama’s NSA Speech: ‘What I Think I Heard Was That If You Like Your Privacy, You Can Keep It’

AP

Rand Paul mocked the President Obama’s proposed reforms to the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities by referencing a line that has haunted the White House for months.

“Well, what I think I heard was that if you like your privacy, you can keep it,” the Kentucky Republican said Friday on CNN, an allusion to Obama’s failed promise on the Affordable Care Act.

“But in the meantime, we’re going to keep collecting your phone records, your e-mails, your text messages, and likely your credit card information. I heard that, ‘Trust me, I’m going put some more safeguards in place, but I’m going to keep right on collecting every Americans’ records.'”

Paul, the most vocal GOP critic of NSA surveillance, said that ultimately the Supreme Court will have to weigh in on the matter.

“I think there is a real fundamental question whether one general warrant can apply to millions of people’s records,” Paul said. “And I think it’s incorrectly being done, and the supreme court is going to ultimately have to decide on this.”

Obama announced changes Friday to the NSA’s collection of phone records and its surveillance of foreign leaders, two aspects of the agency’s activities that have come under global scrutiny since Edward Snowden disclosed the programs last year.

But Obama said in the speech that, despite the reforms that were brought about by the revelations, he still doesn’t think much of Snowden.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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