The U.S. government cannot target an American citizen who is not engaged in combat on American soil, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday during his daily press briefing.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had on Thursday asked the administration if the president has the authority to use a mechanized drone against an American on U.S. soil who is not engaged in hostile activities. “The answer to that question is no,” Carney said, reading from a new a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder addressed to Paul.
Paul on Wednesday engaged in a 13-hour “talking” filibuster of the confirmation of the next CIA director over the issue of the president’s authority to use drone strikes against U.S. citizens. He has said once the White House gives sufficient answer, he would allow a vote on the nomination of John Brennan.
Appearing on CNN on Thursday afternoon, Paul declared that Holder’s response was satisfactory and that he would allow a vote on Brennan’s nomination.
“I’m quite happy with the answer and I’m disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it,” Paul said.
Read Holder’s very short letter below: