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Entries in Rep. Peter King (4)

Friday
Mar012013

Rep. King Says Marco Rubio Not Welcome to Raise Money in New York

United States Congress(NEW YORK) -- Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, is furious that Florida Senator, and fellow Republican, Marco Rubio is hitting up New Yorkers for campaign cash after voting against federal funds to rebuild the region after superstorm Sandy ravaged the area.

In fact, King urged New Yorkers not to give money to any of his fellow Republicans who voted against the Sandy aid.

"Nobody on Wall Street, nobody in the financial services, nobody anywhere in New York should give a nickel to these guys," he told ABC News.

Rubio voted against the $50.4 billion Sandy Relief aid package, but what really irks King is that Rubio is from Florida, a state that has been ravaged by storms in the past and according to King, "has gotten billions and billions of dollars in hurricane aid."

Politico reported this week that the Florida senator who has been called the "Republican savior" is trying to lock down high dollar Wall Street donors ahead of a potential 2016 campaign.

"Over the years I've known so many politicians who almost make a career out of either criticizing New York or voting against New York, and then I find out they are all having fundraisers down on Wall Street or out in the Hamptons," King said.

"[Sandy] is the worst natural disaster we have in the history of our state and region and he just arbitrarily voted no, and then to come in and ask for money... To me, if New York does this then we are just suckers," King said.

The Republican congressman, who represents parts of New York City's Long Island suburbs, said he hasn't spoken to Rubio. King took a karmic view of the lack of communication, adding that Rubio "didn't talk to me before voting against aid for New York."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
May212012

Congressman Calls for FBI Probe of Al Qaeda Leaks

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security, wrote FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III on Monday to formally request that the bureau launch a comprehensive investigation into leaks of detailed and highly classified information about an international anti-terror operation involving al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula earlier this month.

In the letter to Mueller, King deduces that “the leak would have to have emanated from a small universe,” considering “this intelligence matter was handled in the most restricted manner.” In a breach of this magnitude, King demanded that the investigation “must encompass everyone who had access to this vital information.”

Last week, Mueller testified before Congress that the FBI is already investigating leaks to the news media about the recently disrupted plot by al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, also known as AQAP, to smuggle a bomb designed to be concealed in underwear onto a U.S. bound jet.

Reached by phone Monday, King told ABC News that Congress was left in the dark about the operation, which he called “almost unprecedented,” but he suggested that would help narrow the possibilities of who could have disclosed the classified information.

“Nobody in Congress knew about it, so we start off with that,” King, R-N.Y., told ABC News Monday morning. “Even the Speaker of the House [John Boehner] didn’t know about it. It’s almost unprecedented. Even with [Osama] bin Laden, my understanding is certain members of Congress were told about it months in advance, the killing of bin Laden, and I know the speaker is generally briefed on critical intelligence on a regular basis…but in this case no one was briefed.”

“I have no idea where it’s coming from,” he confessed. “It had to be somebody who knew the entire situation, and again it’s a very small universe.”

The leaks revealed that the CIA, along with Britain’s MI-6 secret intelligence service and Saudi Arabian intelligence assets, apparently used a double agent to disrupt the plot by infiltrating the organization, posing as a suicide bomber, and then delivering the bomb to intelligence agents instead of carrying the device onto a U.S.-bound plane.

In his letter Monday, King also requested that the scope of the FBI’s inquiry encompass “the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, federal law enforcement and the White House, including the National Security staff.” He also asks the FBI to investigate whether the lives of “a unique intelligence source” and others may have been jeopardized, to examine whether the operation had to be aborted before its potential was maximized or whether critical intelligence relationships have been damaged as a result of the leaks.

“This [mole] was such a really unprecedented penetration – a very rare penetration of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” King said. “This really was criminal, and I use the term criminal, but this really was. To put the source at risk, to force the aborting of the operation, to preventing us getting more information than we would have gotten, but also to create real distress with partners that we were involved with in this operation.”

“Ultimately there could have been a way found to get him out…to create a situation where he doesn’t necessarily have to blow his cover,” he added. “Certainly the allies using him and others had not decided at all to admit that they had a source in there. You could have had cover stories, you could have had something done…there could have been ways to have extricated that person without giving up his identity.”

The FBI’s ongoing investigation is likely being run by the Justice Department’s counterespionage section and agents from the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is also conducting a separate review with the DNI’s general counsel to see if the leaks originated in any of the 16 agencies that DNI James Clapper oversees.

King said he is unlikely to schedule his own hearings at the Homeland Security committee, but he also sits on the Intelligence committee, where he predicted the first hearings could occur.

“[House Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers] is very concerned about this and because of the security level, because of the classifications, it’s right now I think more appropriate that the intelligence committee do it,” King said. “It’s right now I think more appropriate that the intelligence committee do it. I don’t want to be getting in their way, I don’t want to be duplicating hearings for the sake of duplication here.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr222012

More Secret Service Firings Likely, Former Director Denies Cultural Issue

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A former director of the Secret Service says events of the caliber of the Colombian prostitution incident didn’t occur during his tenure at the agency.

“I don’t believe in the past these types of things have happened,” said W. Ralph Basham. “They certainly didn’t happen on my watch.”

Basham, who headed the service from 2003 to 2006, denied allegations of wider misconduct within the body charged with protecting the president and other governmental officials. On CBS’ “Face the Nation” this morning he said that while it was not unheard of for disciplinary action to be taken against agents, he could not remember ever removing one from duty.

“This is not the character of the men and women who serve every day in the Secret Service,” he said.

Six agents have been fired or resigned since news broke that members of the agency and a military advance team had hired prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, ahead of a trip by President Obama to the country. Some lawmakers now question how such a blatant break of professional decorum could occur without the support of a larger culture.

Today the chairman of a House committee charged with investigating the incident confirmed that more firings were likely as the full scope of the event becomes clear. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he expected more firings in the “near future.”

“I would say anyone we have found to be guilty will [lose their job,]” he said. “What they were thinking is beyond me.”

King emphasized that the investigative focus should not be on the moral conduct of the accused, but rather the national security vulnerabilities presented by the incident.

While expressing his support for the current head of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, this morning the congressman sent a 50-question letter to the director requesting answers for specifics of the investigation.

Meanwhile on CNN Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., suggested the House Oversight committee would send a similar letter to the Pentagon this week regarding the military’s involvement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar102011

Congressional Hearing Explores Home-Grown Terrorism

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A congressional hearing into home grown terrorism called by New York Republican Congressman Peter King Thursday displayed sharp divisions over the what some saw as the singling out the Muslim community -- but most agreed it was a good step toward opening dialogue.  

Following the more than four hour long session, Congressman King spoke about the meeting. "I think the hysteria and the madness leading up to this hearing did nobody much good and certainly didn't reflect well on those who were reporting it."

Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca told the committee most mosques in his area cooperate with law enforcement---in fact, he said, many participate with leaders of other religions in a council to fight terrorism. But the family of a young Muslim-American who disappeared in Somalia, testified that they were intimidated in their Minneapolis mosque and warned not to talk to authorities.

Chairman King says there are too many American mosques that don't cooperate with law enforcement and welcome extremists, but overall, King was pleased with the result at the end of the day and added: "I am more convinced than ever that it was the appropriate hearing to hold.  I think we broke down a wall of political correctness on an issue which has to be addressed."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio