Sen. John McCain says Sen. Rand Paul is working for Vladimir Putin

Mar 15, 2017, 3:15 PM | Updated: Mar 16, 2017, 11:22 am

PHOENIX — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is working for Vladimir Putin on Wednesday after Paul blocked a move to add Montenegro to NATO.

“The senator for Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” a visibly angered McCain said after Paul objected to the treaty.

McCain opened his address on the treaty by saying that anyone who votes against the treaty aligns with the Russian president’s views. Putin sees the addition of Montenegro — a small Balkan country that rests along the Adriatic Sea — as a threat to Russian sovereignty.

“If there is objection, you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin,” McCain said. “You are achieving the objective of trying to dismember this small country that has already been the subject of an attempted coup.”

Paul wasted little time in objecting to the treaty and then departing the chamber.

“That is really remarkable that a senator, blocking a treaty that is supported by an overwhelming number — perhaps, at least, 98 of his colleagues — to come to the floor and object and walk away,” McCain said. “The only conclusion that you can draw when he walks away is he has no argument to be made. He has no justification.”

In a statement to Business Insider, Paul said it would be unwise to bring in another NATO member because it would increase military and monetary demand placed on the U.S.

“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 Business Insider in a statement provided by his office. “In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO.”

Julie Tarallo, a McCain spokesperson, told the publication that McCain made the comments because he believes Putin stands to profit the most from Montenegro being blocked out of NATO.

The treaty requires unanimous Senate approval to be ratified.

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Sen. John McCain says Sen. Rand Paul is working for Vladimir Putin