Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox News Sunday that he thinks Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is being dishonest about the National Security Agency (NSA) snooping program.
King also used a series of vitriolic rhetorical attacks and said he believes that Paul should not be in the U.S. Senate.
King’s comments came in response to Paul’s announcement that he is launching a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and the NSA to empower the grassroots to rise up against the snooping program which has been collecting phone and email records of American citizens. The lawsuit will focus on allegations that the NSA’s snooping program violates Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.
Breitbart News reported on the coming class action suit Friday, and Paul made an appearance on Fox News to discuss it Friday evening. During that appearance, Paul also said that Edward Snowden should “share a prison cell” with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – who misled Congress about the program in early 2013.
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) does not know what he’s talking about,” King said in response on Fox News. “And Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is really spreading fear among the American people. And he was also, I understand, on the show comparing general Clapper to Snowden? I mean to me he’s either totally uninformed or he’s part of that hate America crowd I thought left us in the 1960s. In any event he doesn’t deserve to be in the United States Senate for spreading that type of misperception and absolute lies to be honest with you.”
Later in the segment, King alleged that Paul is being flippant about Americans’ lives. “It infuriates me that people like Rand Paul are putting American lives at risk,” King said. “If we listen to Rand Paul and follow his policies, Americans could die because the NSA has stopped attacks on the United States, right here in New York. The Zazi-attempted subway attack in 2009 with liquid explosives was stopped primarily by the NSA. If Rand Paul had been around and we’d listened to him, hundreds of New Yorkers would be dead today; that would be on his conscience. Or maybe it wouldn’t be, maybe it wouldn’t bother him; I don’t know. He has to realize there is an impact to what he says, and if we follow his policies it’s going to lead to the death of Americans.”
Paul’s argument is that the government should not be allowed to universally collect communications records of U.S. citizens without following the proper legal and constitutional procedures. “We want them to protect the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said of what he wants to make the Obama administration do with his coming class action lawsuit during his Fox News appearance. “We want them to protect the right to privacy. We want them to understand that we’re not willing to trade our liberty for security. We think we can have security and we can defend against terrorism, but that doesn’t mean every individual American has to give up their privacy. We think we can have both. But we are very upset that this president doesn’t seem to be too concerned with our right to privacy.”