Senator Rand Paul was a harsh critic of President Trump during the campaign. He’s become a believer in the time since the election, having nothing but praise for what he’s seen thus far. ABC’s Jonathan Karl attempts to bait the Kentucky Senator into criticizing the President with a question about whether or not his characterization of his administration as a fine-tuned machine was accurate.
Senator Paul dashed those hopes with an overall favorable report, citing the saving of 77,000 coal jobs, progress on Obamacare, the nomination of Judge Gorsuch, the Trump cabinet selections have exceeded Paul’s expectations, Senator Paul sums it up saying, “I’m actually very, very pleased with where we are.”
The whole interview, which went on in its original form for almost 16 minutes was one attempt by Karl after another to discredit President Trump, all of which were fruitless. Karl engaged in a blatant effort to bolster the attempt by Senator McCain to diminish the stature of President Trump through his vitriolic argument comparing his complaints with the media to the initial stages of a dictatorship. Senator Paul once again had the President’s back, candidly citing part of the motivation for McCain making such outlandish statements.
Senator Paul said, “I think Senator McCain’s perspective is colored by his disagreements with President Trump on foreign policy. If I were to look at foreign policy I would say John McCain’s been wrong on just about everything over the last four decades. He advocated for the Iraq War, which I think destabilized the Middle East. If you look at the map, there’s probably at least six different countries where John McCain has advocated for having US boots on the ground.”
Paul observes, “John McCain’s complaint is we’re either not at war somewhere or if we’re at war we leave too soon, so we’re not there soon enough and he wants us to stay there forever wherever we send troops. So that’s a foreign policy that is at odds with President Trump and also the idea of engagement. The foreign policy realism, I think, fits more neatly with President Trump.” He sees John McCain’s neo-conservative view as “Let’s make the world safe for democracy and we’re going to topple every regime,” which he says “hasn’t worked.”
Karl, having found the front door locked tries the back door, changing his quote of McCain to one that more closely resembles his actual statement that “dictators get started by limiting freedom of the press,” trying to suck him in by saying, “I imagine you agree with that.” No sale, Jon boy. Paul replied, “Well, the thing is I don’t agree with his analysis and applying that to the President. I haven’t seen any legislation coming forward that wants to limit that wants to limit the press. I see President Trump expressing his opinion, rather forceful, in his own distinct way, but I see no evidence that anybody’s putting forth any kind of legislation to limit the press.”
He adds, “This is colored by John McCain’s disagreement with President Trump, it all is. Everything that he says about the President is colored by his own personal dispute he’s got running with President Trump and it should be taken with a grain of salt because John McCain’s the guy that’s advocated for war everywhere. He would bankrupt the nation and actually we’re very lucky John McCain’s not in charge because I think we’d be in perpetual war.”
Senator Paul has similar feelings about John Bolton, that he doesn’t belong in a Trump administration and would be much more closely aligned with the views of McCain and how naming him to replace Mike Flynn as National Security Adviser would be a serious mistake.
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