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Rand Paul rails against 'bad apples' Comey, Clapper, Brennan

Rand Paul rails against 'bad apples' Comey, Clapper, Brennan
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday railed against former top intelligence officials who have been critical of the Trump administration during an event for mostly high school conservatives.

"We've got some bad apples that need to be dismissed from the swamp of Washington, sent on their way,” Paul said during a dinner hosted by Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit. “I'm thinking maybe, how about John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOnline and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' The biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE, No. 1."

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“Does anybody in their right mind think that John Brennan, who said that the president is treasonous, should have a security clearance?” the senator added, referring to an ex-CIA director under former President Obama.

Paul had sparked controversy earlier this week when he tweeted that he was meeting with President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE to discuss revoking Brennan's clearance. 

The White House later confirmed during a press briefing that it was considering stripping several top intelligence officials of their clearances, including Brennan, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report Tina Fey, Amy Poehler to host Golden Globes from separate coasts amid pandemic MORE and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community The new marshmallow media in the Biden era MORE.

Paul also targeted the latter two during his comments on Tuesday night, which he delivered to a room of over 600 high school conservatives at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“James Clapper came to the U.S. Senate in 2013, looked us in the eye, and lied under oath,” Paul said. “This is a felony. James Clapper should be in jail for lying to the government.”

Paul also went after Comey and his decision to approve wiretapping of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

“This has been spin and innuendo and politically driven witch hunt,” Paul said. He also said someone has to stand up and defend Trump.

Paul’s comments on Comey led to chants of “Lock her up!," referring to Trump's former Democratic opponent Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE.

"So, when the people say 'Oh, what about the Republicans and Russians,' the only person we know who paid the Russians was Hillary Clinton," Paul said.

He added that too much energy has been consolidated within intelligence agencies and that he has urged Trump to look at systematic reform that instills checks and balances.

“This is a real problem,” Paul said. “So this isn’t about the president being unhappy with his detractors, it’s about people falsely accusing the president of treason and about people who lied to Congress.”

Other speakers of the night included Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpTrump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Donald Trump Jr. attacks Cheney at CPAC: 'Lincoln Project Liz' Trump Jr. was deposed in inauguration funds probe MORE, Jeanine Pirro and Kimberly Guilfoyle.