Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Wednesday that Tuesday testimony from intelligence officials on the governmentâ€™s data-surveillance programs did little to close what he called a â€œcredibility gap.â€
He pointed to testimony that Director of National IntelligenceJames Clapper gave during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March when asked if the National Security Agency gathers â€œany type of data at allâ€ on Americans.â€
â€œNo, sir,â€ Mr. Clapper said. â€œNot wittingly.â€
â€œI guess the problem is ever since Clapper lied in March to us and said they werenâ€™t collecting any data on Americans, thereâ€™s a credibility gap now, and itâ€™s hard for us to really trust the intelligence community because the head of the intelligence community directly lied to the Senate and said they were collecting no data from Americans,â€ Mr. Paul said on â€œFox and Friends.â€ â€œSo Iâ€™m not sure when Iâ€™m being lied to and when theyâ€™re being honest.â€
Mr. Clapper later said in an interview on NBC that the question didnâ€™t have a simple yes or no answer, and that he answered â€œin what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner by saying no.â€
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, vouched for Mr. Clapper on ABCâ€™s â€œThis Week,â€ saying that â€œthere is no more direct or honest personâ€ than Mr. Clapper.
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