Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul took a moment to return proverbial fire at fellow Republican Sen. John McCain after the Arizona senator accused Paul of working for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“So I repeat again. The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain said on the Senate floor after lambasting Paul for blocking a treaty that would include Montenegro into NATO.
Putin is strongly opposed to Montenegro’s inclusion into NATO because of his belief that it transgresses Russian sovereignty.
Needless to say, Paul didn’t take the accusation lying down.
“You know, I think he makes a really, really strong case for term limits,” Paul told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I think maybe he’s past his prime,” Paul continued. “I think maybe he’s gotten a little bit unhinged.”
Paul shared the reason he had an objection to Montenegro’s inclusion into NATO, noting that it may be in the United States’ best interest to be a bit more hands off.
“[McCain’s] foreign policy is something that would greatly endanger the United States, greatly overextend us,” Paul said.
McCain has been an advocate for intervention in countries from Iraq to Afghanistan to Kosovo to North Korea for years. Paul has often said that these militaristic actions have been both unnecessary and detrimental to the U.S. as a whole. In fact, Paul’s support for other officials — such as President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — has hinged on whether or not they thought the Iraq War was a mistake.
Paul later told Business Insider that it would be “unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
“Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan),” Paul told the outlet. “In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO.”