Sen. Rand Paul on NSA surveillance: ‘I’m not sure when I’m being lied to’ now

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Wednesday that Tuesday testimony from intelligence officials on the government’s data-surveillance programs did little to close what he called a “credibility gap.”

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 “any type of data at all” on Americans.”

“No, sir,” Mr. Clapper said. “Not wittingly.”

“I guess the problem is ever since Clapper lied in March to us and said they weren’t collecting any data on Americans, there’s a credibility gap now, and it’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,” Mr. Paul said on “Fox and Friends.” “So I’m not sure when I’m being lied to and when they’re being honest.”

Mr. Clapper later said in an interview on NBC that the question didn’t have a simple yes or no answer, and that he answered “in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner by saying no.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, vouched for Mr. Clapper on ABC’s “This Week,” saying that “there is no more direct or honest person” than Mr. Clapper.

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