GOP's Amash: Clapper should resign

GOP Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers seek to limit US involvement in Yemen's civil war NC Republican pressed on Trump in primary showdown Harassment rules play into race for Speaker 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 WydenHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google struggle to block terrorist content | Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy in US | Company exposed phone location data | Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland Firm exposes cell phone location data on US customers Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China 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."