Senator John McCain is highly respected in the Republican Party, so the GOP is currently in chaos now that he has called out another fellow top Republican, Sen. Rand Paul, for “working for Vladimir Putin.”
This happened when McCain made a unanimous consent request for Montenegro’s bid to join NATO. Paul was against the resolution, which set McCain off. He said:
You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin…trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject of an attempted coup.”
McCain requested that the resolution be passed, which caused Paul to object and leave the room — prompting McCain to make his accusation again. In a moment that left everyone speechless, McCain said:
I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action he has just taken. That is really remarkable — that a senator blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number, perhaps 98 at least of his colleagues, would come to the floor and object and walk away…The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no argument to be made.
He has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians. So, I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) August 5, 2018
The last thing the GOP needs is fighting within the Republican Party before the midterm elections — especially when it is related to Russia. Paul has since made a statement following McCain’s accusations, arguing that U.S. resources are being spread too thin. He said:
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). In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO. It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
It’s not the first time McCain and Paul have butted heads on foreign policy issues, but it’s certainly the most eyebrow-raising.