Sen. Rand Paul is “creating this hysteria” in the country by trying to file a lawsuit against President Obama for the spying practices of the National Security Agency, New York Rep. Peter King said on Monday.
“He’s playing on some sort of scaremongering, isolationism. Rather than using intelligent arguments as people could well do, he’s resorting to fear. He’s appealing to the lowest common denominator,” he said on Morning Joe, adding that he misleads Americans.
Paul last week said he is gathering signatures for a class action suit against the NSA and the Obama administration because the government should not be allowed to access citizens’ personal records.
King, former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on a Sunday Fox News appearance said the senator “doesn’t deserve to be in the United States Senate” because of his accusations against the NSA over its domestic spying program.
Lawmakers in the new year are demanding to know if the NSA is spying on them after former contractor Edward Snowden disclosed NSA classified documents last year that revealed the institution’s global surveillance apparatus.
King last week denounced a New York Times editorial that called for the Obama administration to act leniently with Snowden on charges originating from the NSA leaks. Paul on Sunday, though, told CBS News’ Face the Nation that Snowden doesn’t deserve the death penalty or life in prison simply because he broke the law.
Republicans like Paul–and some Democrats–demonize the NSA and others who are carrying out the work for the country, said King, citing the targeted terrorist attack against the New York City subway system in September of 2009. The plot was thwarted through an intelligence tip received by the FBI.
If the country listens to comments like those of Paul, King said, a similar attack would be successful.
Both Republicans have said they are considering a bid for the 2016 presidential election.