GOP rep: Rand Paul 'absolutely disgraceful' on NSA

GOP rep: Rand Paul 'absolutely disgraceful' on NSA
© Francis Rivera

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said on Sunday that Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (R-Ky.) had acted only in his own interest during the debate over the USA Freedom Act last week.“What Rand Paul did was absolutely disgraceful,” he told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “It was shameful and disgraceful.”King took issue with Paul’s attacks on the National Security Agency and its intelligence-gathering methods.“Rand Paul actually wanted to shut down the NSA for several days for no reason other than to raise money for his presidential campaign,” King said of the 2016 contender.“He was hurting the American people's security,” he added.The Senate voted Tuesday to approve the USA Freedom Act.It ended the NSA’s bulk, warrantless collection of individual phone records while renewing less-controversial counterterrorism and intelligence measures in the Patriot Act.King said changing the agency’s powers was too risky, given the threats menacing America.He cited Thursday’s news that hackers had exposed the data of 4 million current and former federal employees as an example of what is at stake in the national security fight.“Something is clearly wrong,” King said. “We are talking about nation states here. Whether we are talking about China or not, that’s what we’re probably dealing with here.”Federal officials last week said that China was a suspect in the data breach, which was first discovered in April.King said on Sunday that, regardless of the culprit, retaliation must remain an option going forward.“I believe we do,” King said when Wallace asked whether the U.S. should counterattack.“There has to be a price to pay for this,” he added. “I don’t think we should announce what we’re doing. Nothing should be telegraphed in advance.”News reports Thursday said that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was the agency targeted in the attack, which took place in December.