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Mr. Paul said he wanted to see congressional hearings on the NSA privacy issues when Congress returns from recess after Labor Day.

“I think [the NSA] got most of the terrorists or stop most of the terrorists, if not all of the plots, by good old-fashioned police work, and getting warrants and getting wiretaps on people who they were suspicious of, whom they ask a judge about,” Mr. Paul said. “And I’m not against that. I’m all for surveillance of spies, I’m just not for this gross bulk gathering of data on all Americans.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, the chamber’s senior lawmaker, has also vowed to hold hearings.

“I remain concerned that we are still not getting straightforward answers from the NSA,” the Vermont Democrat said Friday.