On Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio talk show program Tuesday, Rand Paul discussed his concerns with the growing power of the U.S. intelligence agencies, saying, it “worries me” that the intelligence community in the United States has gotten so much power.
“That admission by Schumer is truly alarming,” Rand Paul said about Senator Schumer’s comments about the intelligence community on MSNBC. “It alarms even me because I tend to believe that. But here’s a guy that’s one of the privileged eight. Only eight people in Congress are allowed to know most of the things that go on in our intelligence community, and he’s willing to admit that it’s very, very dangerous to go against the intelligence community. That worries me for my country that they’ve gotten so much power that it’s out of hand.”
Rand Paul’s comments come after Chuck Schumer warned President Trump against taking on the U.S. intelligence agencies following surveillance leaks and reports that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, saying the intelligence community has “six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
Below is a transcript of Ran Paul and Sean Hannity’s conversation:
Hannity: “So wait a minute. What you’re saying is what Chuck Schumer said.
“Let me remind people what Chuck said.”
Maddow (MSNBC Clip): “President-elects latest unsolicited announcement on the intelligence community. This was his tweet, just a little while ago, tonight. See the scare quotes there. ‘The “intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!’
“But he’s taking these shots, this antagonism, this taunting to the intelligence community.”
Schumer (MSNBC Clip): “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hardnosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
Maddow (MSNBC Clip): “What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were going to?
Schumer (MSNBC Clip): “I don’t know, but I am told they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them.”
Hannity: “I mean, he’s basically saying that they’ll crush you if you express your First Amendment right, that maybe some people misuse their power.
Paul: “That admission by Schumer is truly alarming. It alarms even me because I tend to believe that.
“But here’s a guy that’s one of the privileged eight. Only eight people in Congress are allowed to know most of the things that go on in our intelligence community, and he’s willing to admit that it’s very, very dangerous to go against the intelligence community.
“That worries me for my country that they’ve gotten so much power that it’s out of hand. The second branch of government, or really, depending on how you look at it, the first branch of government, Congress, is supposed to oversee the Executive Branch, and so what we’re supposed to do is to say no one can get that much power.
“And I’m like you. I don’t doubt most of the people’s patriotism. 99 percent of the people in the intelligence community want what’s best for our country and are protecting it, but in their fervor, could they let their guard down and not be objective about civil liberties and the Bill of Rights? Absolutely.