GOP's Amash: Clapper should resign

GOP Rep. Justin AmashJustin Amash25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote Two-year defense spending smooths the way to a ready military House Oversight a gavel no one wants MORE says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should resign because of his denial of NSA surveillance programs. 

The Michigan Republican in a message on Twitter said Clapper's March testimony before the Senate intelligence panel was tantamount to perjury. 

"It now appears clear that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied under oath to Congress and the American people," Amash tweeted Wednesday. 

Lawmakers "can't make informed decisions on intelligence issues when head of [the intelligence] community willfully makes false statements," Amash said via Twitter. 

"Perjury is a serious crime ... [and] Clapper should resign immediately," he concluded. 

At issue is a March 12 back-and-forth between Clapper and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenLawmakers renew call for end to 'black budget' secrecy Overnight Finance: Stocks bleed as Trump seeks new tariffs on China | House passes .3T omnibus | Senate delay could risk shutdown | All eyes on Rand Paul | Omnibus winners and losers Trump will delay steel tariffs for EU, others MORE (D-Ore.) on classified surveillance programs. 

Wyden, who was aware of the secret programs, asked Clapper: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" 

"No, sir," Clapper responded. 

He sought to clarify his remarks on Monday, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he tried to answer the question about classified information in the “least untruthful” manner possible.

“I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked a ‘When are you going to stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is … not answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no,” Clapper said.

Wyden has all but said he forced Clapper into a position where he would have to discuss both classified programs publicly. 

"This job cannot be done responsibly if senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions," Wyden said in a statement Tuesday.  

"It was necessary to put the question to the Director of National Intelligence," he added. "Public hearings are needed to address the recent disclosures and the American people have the right to expect straight answers from the intelligence leadership to the questions asked by their representatives."