Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the fiercest critics of the National Security Agency in the wake of leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden, said in a statement Friday that he was “disappointed in the details” of President Barack Obama’s proposed reforms to intelligence-gathering programs.
Speaking on CNN, he was even sharper in his criticism.
“I think what I heard is that if you like your privacy, you can keep it,” Paul zinged, a reference to Obama’s now-infamous promise that under his signature health-care law, “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”
“Paul Revere was warning us that the British were coming, not that the Americans were coming,” Paul added, a reference to Obama’s mention of the Revolutionary War in his speech.
Obama spoke just less than an hour at the Department of Justice on Friday, offering small changes to Natural Security Agency collection programs while giving a strong defence of the agency.
Paul suggested that Obama’s proposed reforms didn’t go far enough. He specifically dismissed Obama’s plan to end the NSA’s bulk collection program as it currently exists. Obama said that he will ask Congress, the Justice Department, and the intelligence community over the next 60 days to decide where such data should be stored.
“I don’t want them collecting the information,” Paul said on CNN. “It’s not about who holds it.” In his statement, he added that he felt Obama’s solution “is the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration.”
Here’s the video of Paul’s appearance on CNN:
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