After drawing criticism from supporters, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., released a statement late last night clarifying his position on the domestic use of drones.
Paul indicated on FOX Business Tuesday night that he supported the idea of using drones against armed criminals on the run, citing the pursuit of the Boston bombing suspects as an example. During the interview, Paul suggested that a lethal drone could be used against “someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and a $50 in cash.”
“My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed,” Paul clarified in his statement. “Let me be clear: it has not.”
Paul explained that he believed that armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations, only in “extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat.
“Additionally, surveillance drones should only be used with warrants and specific targets,” he added.
Paul reaffirmed his belief that drones can and should be used against terrorists, even over American soil.
“Fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections,” Paul concluded. “This was demonstrated last week in Boston. As we all seek to prevent future tragedies, we must continue to bear this in mind.”