After the New York Times editorial board came out in favour of a plea bargain for Edward Snowden last week, many congressmen have faced questions on the matter. Republicans in particular are using the occasion to take nasty shots at one another.
Some, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), are in favour granting Snowden leniency in his sentencing.
“I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison. I think that’s inappropriate. And I think that’s why he fled, because that’s what he faced,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” yesterday morning. “I think the only way he’s coming home is if someone would offer him a fair trial with a reasonable sentence.”
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, struck back against Paul on Fox News later yesterday evening.
“Rand Paul does not know what he’s talking about. And, Rand Paul is really spreading fear among the American people,” King said. “To me, he’s either totally uninformed or he’s part of that hate America crowd that I thought left us in the 1960s.”
“In any event, he doesn’t deserve to be in the United States Senate for spreading that type of misperception and absolute lies to be honest with you,” he added.
Those are some incredibly harsh words against a member of King’s own party.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich) had Paul’s back, calling King’s comments “shameful & pathetic” in a tweet later:
Democrats are also divided on how to reform the NSA and whether Snowden deserves clemency, but the fissures have not taken as open and hostile a form as they have for Republicans.
Here’s the full video of Paul and King on Fox News:
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