One of the National Security Agency’s staunchest defenders is still going after Senator Rand Paul for his aggressive criticism of the organization. Last week, Paul filed a class-action lawsuit against the NSA’s data-collection operations, prompting Representative Peter King (R., N.Y.) to accuse the Kentucky senator of creating “hysteria” and “paranoia” over the issue.
Monday on Morning Joe, King continued: “Rather than using intelligent arguments, as people could well do, he is resorting to fear, he’s appealing to the lowest common denominator.” As just one example of Paul’s “scare-mongering” about the NSA, he referred to the senator’s suggestion of the government’s ”using drones to kill Americans in Starbucks.”
King provided an example of a terrorist attack prevented by the NSA, and noted that Paul and others have yet to point to an abuse of the program.
In the past, King has said Paul “doesn’t deserve to be in the United States Senate” for his comments about NSA chief James Clapper (Paul said Clapper should share a jail cell with Edward Snowden). Both lawmakers have been outspoken on their differences on the program since Snowden’s revelations, prompting King to weigh a potential presidential run over concerns about a weakening national defense under the more “knee-jerk isolationist” Paul.