The long-simmering war between Sens. John McCain and Rand Paul boiled over on Wednesday when the Arizona lawmaker directly accused his colleague of working for Russian President Vladimir Putin.Rather unsurprisingly, the Mitch McConnell chose not to cite Senate Rule XIX, which says in part, "No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator," because it's OK if you are a Republican to accuse your colleague of being a Russian mole, but it's somehow wrong to quote Coretta Scott King from the Senate record in a debate if you are a Democrat.
While speaking from the Senate floor in support of a bill advancing Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), McCain noted objection from his Kentucky colleague, saying that if you oppose the measure, “You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin... trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject an attempted coup.”
McCain continued: “If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin and I do not say that lightly.”
Several moments later, after the 80-year-old senator asked for unanimous consent to move the bill forward, Paul took the mic to raise his objection before dramatically exiting the room.
In response, McCain began railing against Paul, his voice trembling with anger: “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.”
He then directly connected Paul to the Russian government: “The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is 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.”
16 March 2017
Today, when Rand Paul objected to a bill providing support for Montenegro's accession into NATO, the warmongering Senator from the great state of Arizona, John Sydney McCain III, said that Paul was working for Vladimir Putin: