Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted Thursday to block a bill to condemn Russia for their meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, and said that it was motivated by “Trump motivation syndrome.”
Here’s what the legislation did
The bill was sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who asked for a unanimous consent decree from the Senate, which could be blocked by just one member.
That member was Rand Paul.
“The Congress must make it clear that we accept the assessment of our intelligence community with regard to Russian election interfering in our country and in other democracies,” Sanders said in a floor speech in the Senate.
The bill would have also implemented sanctions that had been approved by Congress but stuck in limbo, and also taken measures to protect the election system.
“Hatred of the president to the Senate floor”
“Trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the Senate!” responded Paul in his own speech on the floor. “The hatred for the President is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance.”
“Does anybody remember that Ronald Reagan sat down with Gorbachev and we lessened the nuclear tensions?” he continued. “We need to still have those openings.”
“Nobody is saying or excusing Russia meddling in our elections, absolutely, we should protect the integrity of our elections,” Paul explained. “But simply bringing the hatred of the president to the Senate floor, in order to say we’re done with diplomacy, we’re going to add more sanctions and more sanctions.”
“You know what?” he added, “I would rather that we still have more open channels of discussion with the Russians.”
Sanders responded by saying that the resolution did not prevent Trump from continuing with diplomacy with Russians, only that it would prevent meddling in future elections.
Here’s the video of the debate between Paul and Sanders:
Sen. @RandPaul: "Trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the Senate. The hatred for the President is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance."
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 19, 2018
“It has nothing to do with ending diplomacy at all!” said Sanders after the bill was defeated.