Ron Paul defends Putin over downed Malaysian plane: He's 'smarter than that'
Retired Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX (Screen capture)

Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) recently defended Russian President Vladimir Putin against critics in the United States who had said that he was complicit in the deaths of nearly 300 people because because Russian weapons were likely used to shoot down a Malaysian Airlines plane.

"Everybody's angling to propagandize and make their position known," Paul told Newsmax on Friday. "So, I think it would be unwise to say, 'The Russians did or the Ukraine government did it or the rebels did it.'"

"Who would benefit the most from this? And of course, if it's blamed on Russia, then of course, the Ukraine government would get the most benefit," he explained. "Since Russia would have the least benefit, I think Putin is a little bit smarter than that. I don't think he would ever come close to participating in act like this."

Newsmax host John Bachman pointed out that many considered Putin "complicit" in the tragedy because some of the weapons had been supplied by Russia.

"That may well be true, but guess what, ISIS has a lot of American weapons," Paul declared. "We sent weapons into Syria to help the rebels and al Qaeda ends up getting it — it doesn't mean that our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons."

"So, who gets the weapons is a big difference between how they got them and what happened and what the motivations were," the tea party-backed libertarian insisted. "So even if it was a Russian weapon, it doesn't mean a lot."

Watch the video below from Newsmax, broadcast July 20, 2014.

(h/t: The Blaze)