- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rep. Pete King on Sunday refused to apologize for posting a tweet that linked Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul to the terrorist army known as Islamic State.

Mr. King said he would “absolutely not” apologize and again blasted the Kentucky Republican for delaying Senate progress on reauthorizing the Patriot Act, forcing the shutdown of the National Security Agency’s controversial phone-snooping program and using it to raise money for his campaign.

“That went beyond the limits of intelligent debate, of rational debate and to me it violated his position as a senator,” said Mr. King said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He called Mr. Paul’s actions “shameful and disgraceful.”

After the Senate voted last week to resume the bulk collection of phone records, although with reforms, Mr. King tweeted: “Today’s SenateNSA vote is a victory for America, for freedom over ignorance and defeat for ISIS, Edward Snowden & Rand Paul.”

The tweet drew criticism for linking Mr. Paul and the Islamic State, which is known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL. But Mr. KIng would not take it back.

“The fact is that 99 percent of the Senate wanted the debate to go forward and Rand Paul actually wanted to shut down the NSA for several days, serving no purpose other than for him to raise money for his presidential campaign That went beyond the limits of intelligent debate, of rational debate and to me it violated his position as a senator,” said Mr. King, a New York Republican who has flirted with a presidential run this year.

The bill passed by the Senate, known as the USA Freedom Act, resumed the collection of bulk phone records but required telecommunications companies, not the NSA, to hold the data. The government now must make specific requests to access the records.

The House had previously approved the USA Freedom Act. President Obama singed it into law shortly after it passed the Senate.

“We can have differences, we can debate them, we can work them out. You can vote against NSA is you want to,” said Mr. King. “But to use your one-person power to unilaterally shut it down, knowing that it is going to be reopened in a couple days — all he was doing was hurting American security at the same time, asking people to send him contributions. That was shameful and disgraceful.”

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