Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday went to bat for NSA leaker Edward Snowden — and took a swing at Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, while Sen. Chuck Schumer advocated a tougher line on Snowden.
“I don’t think Edward Snowden deserves the death penalty or life in prison; I think that’s inappropriate, I think that’s why he fled, is that’s what he faced,” Paul, a possible 2016 contender for the Republican presidential nomination, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Do I think it’s OK to leak secrets and give up national security [information] that endangers lives? I don’t think that’s OK, either. But I think the courts are now saying he revealed something the government was doing that was illegal.”
Paul, who’s pushing a class-action suit against the National Security Agency over its data collection tactics, has said that Snowden and Clapper should “share a prison cell,” charging that Clapper lied to Congress.
“Maybe if they served in a prison cell together, we’d be further enlightened as a country over what we should and shouldn’t do,” Paul said.