Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Sunday suggested that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should share a prison cell in the U.S.
“Maybe if they served in a prison cell together, we’d become further enlightened as a country over what we should and shouldn’t do,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Paul said that he does not believe Snowden deserves harsh punishment for his leaks, but believes that both Snowden and Clapper broke the law.
“So James Clapper did break a law and there is a prison sentence for that. So did Edward Snowden,” he said. “I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison. I think that’s inappropriate. And I think that’s why he fled, because that’s what he faced.”
Paul said that Clapper did damage to the U.S., and that Snowden revealed abuses by the government and its intelligence operation.
“And I think, really, in the end, history is going to judge that he revealed great abuses of our government and great abuses of our intelligence community and that James Clapper, in lying to Congress, really seriously destroyed the credibility of our intelligence agencies,” he said. “And even though I actually give them the benefit of the doubt — I don’t think James Clapper is a bad person. I think he’s a patriotic person who wants to stop terrorism. So I don’t think he’s a bad person.”