The Washington Post

Rand Paul ‘reserving judgment’ on Edward Snowden

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he's "reserving judgment" on Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked information regarding some of the agency's telephone and Internet-tracking programs.

"I think it's a complicated issue," Paul said  on "CBS This Morning." "I think when people choose civil disobedience, they're at their wit's end and think there's no other choice. We've had civil disobedience in our history, sometimes they turn out that we laud them and other times we say they went too far. I personally am trying to work within the law and change the law, I think that's what my job is and I think we can challenge the president on this, particularly his hypocrisy. I'm reserving judgment on Mr. Snowden, but I think he felt like something like this was so wrong -- millions of phone records being looked at."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). (AP)

"You have to realize," Paul added later, "by looking at your phone records, they can actually track your movements all day long. So I've been jokingly saying I'm leaving my phone at home when I go to Republican leadership meetings, because the president doesn't need to know where I am all day long."

The senator's comments on Snowden differ from those of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who said Monday that “We should be thankful" for Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first reported details of the NSA program in the Guardian.

Father Paul, the former presidential candidate, and son Rand, the senator, who is pondering a 2016 presidential campaign, often part ways on issues of national security and foreign policy -- but they appear to agree that the U.S. government has gone too far.

Asked whether he had attended any of the dozens of briefings offered for lawmakers in recent years about NSA programs, Paul said that most of the briefings were for members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.

"Just because Congress approved it doesn't make it right," Paul said of the NSA programs. "Congress has a 10 percent approval rating, so I think we're often doing things that the public doesn't approve of."

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.
Next Story
Juliet Eilperin · June 11, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.