As the Russian-Ukraine conflict continues, some Democrats, left-leaning pundits, and neoconservatives continue to hold on to the disproven conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump and Republicans are somehow supportive of or in cahoots with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
If you watch MSNBC, you may hear that Trump was “installed” by Putin.
No doubt you’ve seen comments on social media, attacking anyone who opposes direct conflict with nuclear Russia as “pro-Putin.”
The “pro-Putin” commentary comes from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.
But this phenomenon is not new.
Just ask Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
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In 2017, Paul blocked an attempted vote in the Senate to bring Montenegro into NATO.
Montenegro, with a population smaller than 28 American cities and whopping 2,000 active duty military personnel, mind you.
The late Republican Sen. John McCain – who very much wanted Montenegro and a few other nations to be in NATO – concluded that this must mean Paul was siding with the Russians.
Or even working for them.
“The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain said of Paul.
Politico reported at the time, “The Arizona Republican, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, was joined on the Senate floor by Democrats Ben Cardin of Maryland and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire to push for debate and a vote on the treaty. But Paul, who has opposed further expansion of NATO, objected to McCain’s request to consider the measure.”
“Russia has sought to prevent the small Balkan nation from coming under Western influence, and McCain warned about Russian attempts to destabilize Montenegro’s government,” Politico noted.
“The treaty is expected to garner wide support in the Senate,” the report added. “Twenty-three of the 28 NATO member nations have voted in favor of Montenegro joining the alliance.”
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McCain accused Paul of blocking the vote “without any justification or any rationale.”
To be clear, the U.S. and other NATO members must come to the defense of any member that is attacked. Even member states that have just 2,000 soldiers.
Paul didn’t want the U.S. involved in any war over that country. Some might consider not risking American lives in another foreign war a solid “rationale.”
But McCain still insisted the senator was in the employ of Russia.
“If there is objection, you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin,” McCain said. “You are achieving the objectives of trying to dismember this small country, which has already been the subject of an attempted coup.”
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