Politics - News Analysis

Video Emerges Showing John McCain Warning That Rand Paul is ‘Working for Vladimir Putin’

A 2017 video of the late John McCain (R-Arizona.) saying that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky.) is working on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s behalf is picking up steam again online now that Paul has single-handedly blocked a vote on a new aid package for Ukraine Thursday, Newsweek reports.

The C-SPAN video of McCain’s commentary from 2017 was shared on Twitter on Thursday by patient advocate Peter Morley, Democratic strategist Adam Parkhomenko and other users on the social media platform.

“So I repeat again — the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain is heard saying in the video.

In the video, McCain discussed NATO membership for Montenegro, a nation in the Balkans. At the time Paul blocked a vote to ratify a treaty that would have allowed the country to join the U.S.-led military alliance by refusing to give unanimous consent.

In his remarks on the Senate floor, McCain said that Paul “has no argument to be made. He has no justification for his objection to have a small nation be part of NATO, that is under assault by the Russians.”

The day following the late senator’s remarks Paul told MSNBC, “You know, I think he really, really makes a strong case for term limits. I think maybe he’s past his prime; I think maybe he’s gotten a little unhinged.”

Paul has habitually spurned foreign spending and commitments abroad and in an op-ed for Time magazine questioned the wisdom of allowing Montenegro to join NATO.

“Adding a country with fewer than 2000 soldiers to NATO is not in our self-interest. There is no national security interest that an alliance with Montenegro will advance. If we invite Montenegro in NATO, it will be a one-way street with the U.S. committing to defend yet another country,” Paul wrote.

Despite Paul’s objections, the Senate ratified the treaty with a vote of 98 to 2, with only Paul and Republican Sen. Mike Lee voting against it.

On Thursday, Paul declined to give unanimous consent for the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine. He was seeking to modify the legislation to give the inspector general for Afghanistan the authority to oversee funds spent for Ukraine.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) refused to make changes to the measure and the package is now scheduled for a procedural vote Monday and may be passed sometime next week.

Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) were trying to fast-track the passing of the aid package, which passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support Tuesday.

Paul, speaking from the Senate floor, referenced rising inflation and a previous $13.6 billion in funding Congress approved for Ukraine in March. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy, he added.

“Unless we put an end to the fiscal insanity, a day of reckoning awaits us,” he said. “Congress should evaluate the cost of going down this path. We cannot save Ukraine by killing our economic strength.”

It’s understandable that we need to help Ukraine if we can, but Paul may have a point here. Is the U.S. making the situation tougher on its own citizens by doing this? The Guardian notes that inflation is finally showing signs of slowing down but is close to a 40-year-high and Americans are struggling.

All I’m saying is I hope our own government isn’t cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GaiaLibra and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/politicalsaurus

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