Senator Rand Paul declared war on the deep state in a press statement Tuesday, noting that he and his Senate collegaues were excluded from a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel concerning the killing of Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi.
The only people allowed into the briefing were a few select lawmakers sitting on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Foreign Relations Committee and Intelligence Committee.
“There are eight people in Congress who get briefings on intelligence,” Paul said. “That is not democracy. That is not democratic representation nor is it democratic oversight.”
“I think the very definition of the deep state is when the intelligence communities withhold information from Congress,” Paul added, noting that he had to try to find out details of the briefing from the media.
“Why not share information with the entire Senate?” Paul tweeted:
The Director of the CIA has arrived in the Senate, yet almost every senator has been excluded. Why not share information with the entire Senate on MBS’ role in the killing of a journalist? Saudi Arabia continues to spread radicalism & we shouldn’t continue to blindly support them pic.twitter.com/xfCIL3LnWU
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 4, 2018
Paul expanded on his comments in a further interview with Fox News:
“This is the very definition of the deep state. The deep state is that the intelligence agencies do things, conclude things, make conclusions, but then the elected officials are prevented from knowing about this,” Mr. Paul told Fox News.
Paul added that “the deep state” will continue to amass “more power” until the status quo changes.
“If we aren’t told about this and I’m not allowed to know about these conclusions, then I can’t have oversight,” he said. “And so then state grows, the intelligence, the deep state grows and has more and more power.”
“I’ve read in the media that the CIA has said with high confidence that the crown prince was involved with killing Khashoggi,” Paul continued. “I have not seen that intelligence nor have I even seen the conclusions. And today there’s yet another briefing and I’m being excluded. So really, this is the deep state at work … that your representatives don’t know what is going on in the intelligence agencies.”