An outspoken House conservative is calling on National Intelligence Director James Clapper to resign over comments he made before Congress related to recently disclosed surveillance programs.
Rep. Justin Amash, Michigan Republican, is reacting to testimony Mr. Clapper gave at an oversight hearing in March, when Sen. Ron Wyden asked him if the government collects data on millions of Americans. The director said it does not, at least not wittingly.
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Mr. Wyden, Oregon Democrat, made it clear this week he is not happy with that answer, in light of public revelations the National Security Agency collects phone call logs from Verizon customers and monitors some foreigners’ Internet activity through a secret program called Prism.
Mr. Amash took it a step further on Wednesday.
“Members of Congress can’t make informed decisions on intelligence issues when the head of the intelligence community willfully makes false statements,” Mr. Amash said on his Facebook page. “Perjury is a serious crime. Mr. Clapper should resign immediately.”
The Obama administration and a number of lawmakers have defended the secret spying programs, arguing that they are integral to thwarting terrorist attacks on American soil and that no one is listening to innocent persons’ phone calls.
This week, Mr. Clapper told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he answered Mr. Wyden’s question “in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner, by saying no.”