Rand Paul's Filibuster Over Drones Splits GOP

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP has split over a Republican senator's filibuster of President Barack Obama's CIA nominee and claims about the use of drones in the Unites States.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spoke for nearly 13 hours on Wednesday, demanding an answer from the administration on its authority to use lethal force and drones.

But Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham said Thursday that Paul's claims were unfounded, and said the debate unnecessarily created fear among Americans. Graham says Obama's actions were similar to what Republican President George W. Bush did.

McCain scoffs at Paul's suggestion that the U.S. would have attacked Jane Fonda when she traveled to North Vietnam during the war.

The White House says President Barack Obama does not have the authority to use a drone to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil if the citizen is not engaged in combat.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney says the attorney general made that assertion in a letter to GOP Sen. Rand Paul. The Kentucky senator has held up the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director amid claims that the administration could use drones to target Americans suspected of terrorism.

Carney says Attorney General Eric Holder sent the letter to Paul Thursday afternoon, though the senator's office says it has yet to receive it. Carney says White House officials have also been in touch with Paul's office.