Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, prior to introducing McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary-designate Elaine Chao at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

Rand Paul: Flynn leakers belong in jail

On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) shared his thoughts on President Trump’s wiretapping allegations, along with the controversy surrounding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

According to Red State, Stephanopoulos asked the Senator how President Trump could “fix” his credibility after having a row with British intelligence.

“We see the president standing by that claim about President Obama,” Stephanopoulos said. “It’s caused a rift now with British intelligence over the weekend. How big a problem is this for the president’s credibility? How does he fix it?”

“I think that we know one thing for sure, that the Obama administration did spy on Flynn, Paul responded. “Now, whether it was direct or indirect, somebody was reading and taking — a transcript of his phone calls and then they released it.”

“It is very, very important that whoever released that go to jail, because you cannot have members of the intelligence community listening to the most private and highly classified information and then releasing that to The New York Times.”

“There can only be a certain handful of people who did that. I would bring them all in. They would have to take lie detector tests. And I would say, including the political people, because some political people knew about this as well.”

“But we need to get to the bottom of who is releasing these highly classified conversations. And if the president was surveilled, he probably wasn’t the target. I don’t know that he was or wasn’t. But if he was, they probably targeted someone in a foreign government, but then they listened to the conversation with Americans.
But our government’s talking to foreigners all the time. We can’t allow people in the intelligence committee to release the contents of that informing to Paul then warned of a “deep state,” and added that “an intelligence community that has enormous power if that happens.”

When asked if he believed that President Obama ordered an illegal wiretap of President Trump, Paul again brought up the deeper issue surrounding the intelligence community.

“What happens is it’s different than that. We target foreigners all the time, but they talk to Americans,” he said. “They talk to the president. They talk to the national security advisers. And they’re supposed to be masked.”

“But there was something alarming the other day. General Hayden admitted that people all the way down to some of the lowest analysts can unmask who the American is. So, someone unmasked General Flynn and they’re a low-level analyst, we need to be looking at their computer and find out if they unmasked that conversation and if they spoke with The New York Times you have got to put those people in jail, because you cannot allow this to happen, or we will have presidents being blackmailed or national security advisers being blackmailed.”

“This is a huge, huge problem, bigger than anything else that’s being discussed is the fact that private conversations from the intelligence community’s perspective are being leaked to the press. That’s not like a leak that says, oh, the president watches TV in his bathrobe, this is important to national security, you can’t let it happen.”

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Autumn Price

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