One of the NSA's Biggest Defenders Is Retiring to Be a Radio Host
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee isn't seeking re-election.
Seven-term Republican Rep. Mike Rogers announced early on Friday that he would not seek re-election this November. Instead, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will host a national radio show. In a statement, the Michigan legislator said:
“I have always believed in our founder's idea of a citizen legislature. I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after. The genius of our institutions is they are not dependent on the individual temporary occupants privileged to serve. That is why I have decided not to seek re-election to Congress in 2014. As I close this chapter in my life, I am excited to begin a new one that allows me to continue serving as a voice for American exceptionalism and support a strong nation security policy agenda.”
According to Detroit News, Rogers told WJR-AM radio this morning that “They may have lost my vote in Congress, but you haven’t lost my voice." His show will be syndicated by Cumulus Radio.
Although Rogers's pre-congressional career was in the FBI and not in talk radio, Rogers noted that he used to host a show in college. He's also a frequent Sunday talk show guest. Lately, Rogers's highest-profile opinions have been about the NSA and whistleblower Edward Snowden. The congressman has, for instance, called journalist Glenn Greenwald a "thief" and accused him of "selling" the NSA documents provided to him by Snowden. Rogers has also suggested that a "foreign power" was behind Snowden's leaks, despite the existence of no evidence to support that theory.
More recently, Rogers and the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, introduced an NSA reform bill to compete with the bulk collection reforms announced by President Obama yesterday. Obama's reform plan would require the NSA to get a court order to access metadata records stored by telephone companies, while Rogers's bill would allow the government to get that approval after accessing them.
Rogers is the 22nd member of the House to announce his retirement this cycle, as Roll Call points out. That's still around the average number of retirements from the House per cycle. This year, he's the 12th Republican to do so.
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