Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) expressed anger Wednesday that Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' MORE (R-Ky.) is slated to file a lawsuit against President Obama and other officials over National Security Agency surveillance.
King, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has been a defender of the program and said revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have hurt the country.
“I think that has really hurt the country,” King said of the leaks on MSNBC. “That is why I am so angry that Rand Paul is bringing this lawsuit today.”
King said publicly revealed information about the NSA program is just a sliver of the information that Snowden collected.
“But in addition to that, the vast amounts of other information that is sensitive information, classified, top-secret information involving our military that has been made available is really disgraceful,” he said.
While not naming Paul directly, King questioned whether the GOP really wanted people in the party who have applauded Snowden.
“And let's just say as Republicans ... do we really want people in our party somehow saying they don’t know whether he is a patriot or not? ... Who actually put him in the same classification as the director of national intelligence?”
Paul has said Snowden broke the law but could potentially be defined as a whistle-blower after a judge ruled last year that the NSA program that collects metadata on millions of U.S. citizens appeared unconstitutional.
Paul has also said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has broken the law by lying to Congress and should resign.
Paul (R-Ky.), a potential GOP White House contender, is slated to file a class action lawsuit Wednesday against President Obama, the National Security Agency and a host of others involved in the surveillance program.
He had been gearing up for month for the suit and expects the case to eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.