Tags: NSA/Surveillance | Michael Mukasey | rand paul | patriot act | filibuster | hot air

Mukasey: Rand Paul's Anti-Patriot Act Speech 'Hot Air'

Image: Mukasey: Rand Paul's Anti-Patriot Act Speech 'Hot Air'
(Senate TV Handout/Reuters)

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 05:38 PM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's 10 1/2-hour speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday opposing renewal of the Patriot Act was nothing more than "hot air," designed to boost his presidential aspirations, says former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Mukasey, appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," was asked if he would be worried if Paul became president.

"I'm terrified of the possibility," he said. "Luckily, it's not going to happen," he added, because Paul "is completely off the wall."

The Republican Party will never nominate "somebody like that," Mukasey said, but he worries that Paul will do "quite a lot" of damage in the meantime.

Mukasey was referring to Paul's adamant opposition to the Patriot Act, which has allowed bulk collection of phone data in what the government says is an attempt to thwart terrorists.

"There are people who are concerned about civil liberties who don't understand that the NSA bulk data gathering program has nothing to do with civil liberties," Mukasey said. "Rand Paul is willing to exploit their lack of knowledge for his own purpose because he wants to add fuel to his Republican presidential aspirations. I think it's completely cynical."

Paul may be right that the current system isn't pulling in enough data to be useful, Mukasey said, but added that the solution isn't to pull in no data at all. Rather, he said, the government should actually expand the program and collect data not only from landline phones, but also from cellphones.

Besides, Mukasey said, "there's a lot of intelligence gathered that you don't hear about and that I don't hear about. That's what intelligence gathering is about. It's about building bricks towards building a structure so that you can figure out what is going on."

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's 10 1/2-hour speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday opposing renewal of the Patriot Act was nothing more than "hot air," designed to boost his presidential aspirations, says former Attorney Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Michael Mukasey, rand paul, patriot act, filibuster, hot air
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2015-38-21
Thursday, 21 May 2015 05:38 PM
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