(TIM) — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday during an appearance on The Laura Ingraham Show podcast that the term “deep state” accurately describes how an unelected bureaucracy of national security officials in positions of power exert influence without Congressional oversight.
“Absolutely, there is a deep state, because the deep state is the intelligence agencies that do not have oversight,” he said. “Only eight people in Congress know what they’re doing, and traditionally, those eight people have been a rubber stamp to let the intelligence communities do whatever they want. There is no skeptic among the eight people that are supposedly overseeing the intelligence community.”
The “Gang of Eight” that Paul referenced is made up of the majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, along with the chairmen and ranking members of the two intelligence committees, and are the select few members of Congress with real-time access to America’s most sensitive intelligence.
Paul pointed out that he believed Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others used intelligence collected “without any judicial warrants” for political purposes, in addition to “try to bring Trump down.”
“John Brennan and James Clapper were doing whatever the hell they wanted, without any judicial warrants, and I think there were numerous people in the Obama administration who were using intelligence — one, to try to bring Trump down; but two, also, they were using it for political purposes,” he said. “And this is very, very worrisome.”
Paul evidenced his point by noting Brennan’s politicized tweet over the weekend calling Trump a corrupt demagogue, and promising that America would “triumph” over him.
When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you. https://t.co/uKppoDbduj
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018
“This is the real problem,” Paul said. “And [founding father James] Madison warned about this from the beginning. Madison said that men are not angels. And all you gotta do is look at John Brennan’s tweet to know that he’s not an angel. And listen to James Clapper lying to the Senate about whether they were spying on Americans.”
Paul previously tweeted that Brennan’s attacks on the “Bill of Rights” and “freedoms of every American” while running the CIA were “disgraceful.”
Further solidifying Paul’s point about “men are not angels,” Samantha Power, former UN Ambassador under President Obama, issued an ominous tweet: “Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”
Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan. https://t.co/VLg94OLL2R
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 17, 2018
Many took this tweet by Powers as an implicit threat on behalf of Brennan. After strong social media backlash following her tweet, Powers sent a follow-up tweet that aimed to walk back the implied threat she had first issued.
Whoa! Just home & see much misinterp. of earlier tweet. It’s testament to polarized times that it cd be misread as referring to something other than Brennan’s indignation. So will translate: not a good idea to upset @JohnBrennan bc/ he will raise an angry (& eloquent) voice. https://t.co/YgIjeKGAlp
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 18, 2018
Rand Paul’s commentary starts at roughly 21:30 in the podcast below.