U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is under fire for remarks he made Tuesday during a Senate hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken that are being called "propaganda" for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Saying that if Ukraine had become part of NATO, or will in the future, U.S. soldiers would be "fighting in Ukraine," Paul called it "something I very much oppose."
President Joe Biden and his administration have repeatedly stated he opposes American boots on the ground in Ukraine.
"If you look at the countries that Russia has attacked," Blinken reminded Paul, "over the last years: Georgia...Moldova, and then repeatedly in Ukraine, these are countries that were not part of NATO. It has not attacked NATO countries for probably very good reasons."
Paul defiant and argumentative, retorted in a jaw-dropping statement, "You could also argue that the countries they've attacked were part of Russia."
Stunned, Secretary Blinken struggled for words to respond, giving Paul time to amend his remarks to say, "or were part of the Soviet Union."
"I firmly disagree with that proposition," Blinken replied. "It is the fundamental right of these countries to decide their own future."
Paul is being blasted online.
"Rand Paul. Russian Stooge," tweeted Brian Karem, the famous CNN and Playboy journalist who was once jailed for refusing to reveal his sources. Karem is also host of the "Just Ask the Question" podcast, and recently returned from Ukraine.
Journalist Aaron Rupar, who posted the video above, tweeted, "this is straight Putin propaganda from Rand Paul."
Former top FBI official:
Veteran Washington political reporter Sam Youngman says, "Rand Paul using actual Putin talking points."
Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker, who is running to win the Democratic nomination for Paul's Senate seat, tweeted: "Rand Paul just attempted to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He is actively pushing Putin’s propaganda in the Senate, and I will remove him from office in November."