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Sen. Coats calls Rand Paul’s statements on Patriot Act ‘insulting’

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After parts of the Patriot Act expired at midnight June 1, the war of words continues between an Indiana senator and his GOP colleague from Kentucky who wanted the laws to expire.

“The worst thing we can do at a time when threats are as high as they’ve ever been is not have all the tools in place to protect Americans from harm,” said Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana. “That leaves us more vulnerable and I just don’t think that’s something that should be done for political aggrandizement or for any political reason this rises to the level of national security and the protection of Americans and you don’t play games with this.”

Senator Paul says he’s concerned about people’s privacy, but he has taken heat from his own party and from the White House, and that criticism only grew stronger after this remark Paul made about his opponents on the Senate floor Sunday night:

"Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me," said Paul.

Coats responded to Paul’s remarks in a one-on-one interview with FOX59.

“That’s an outrageous, insulting statement to say that members of Congress, just because they don’t agree with Senator Paul’s position, want an attack to happen against the American people,” said Coats. “I take deep offense to that kind of statement. It shows the kind of overreach and desperation of someone running for President of the United States to make a statement like that. I think he owes all of us an apology and owes the American people an apology.”

Paul has since tried to back away from that comment, saying it may have been hyperbole, something he said ‘in the heat of battle.’

Coats said he hopes the lapsed provisions can be restored by the end of the week.