A former Obama official deemed it “treason.” A CNN “analyst” called for a “shadow government” to take him out. And Sen. John McCain, well, the namby-pamby Republican who could never win the White House hated every second if it.
We’re talking, of course, about Monday’s Helsinki summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump embraced the leader of America’s most powerful foe, and the U.S. and world media — along with every Democrat on Capitol Hill — went apoplectic.
There’s a simple explanation: It’s all part of “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” says Sen. Rand Paul.
“Any country that can spy does, and any country that can meddle in foreign elections does,” the Kentucky Republican said Monday on CNN.
“All countries are doing this, but we’ve elevated this to a higher degree, and we’ve made this all about the sour grapes of Hillary Clinton losing the election, and it’s all about partisan politics now. This is truly the Trump derangement syndrome that motivates all of this,” Paul said.
Paul said it’s important for the U.S. to continue “engagement with our adversaries.” “We should look for ways to make the dialogue better.” But he also said people should focus on what truly matters.
“What I would say is that instead of making this about, everything is about Trump and accusing Trump of collusion with the Russians and all this craziness that’s not true, we should try to protect the integrity of our elections,” he said.
“Nobody is talking about protecting the integrity of the elections. How would you protect the integrity of the elections? Make sure they’re decentralized. Make sure there’s very good controls from the precinct on up. Make sure we’re not storing the data in a central area where there aren’t checks and balances at the local area. There are a lot of ways to make sure our election is not tampered with,” Paul said.
“Also, it’s important when you say the Russians meddled, they hacked into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail, and revealed some truths about her that weren’t very popular. I agree they did that. But the thing is is nobody’s alleging that votes were changed, that they got into our electoral system,” he added.
As Trump did in Helsinki, Paul also questioned the power of U.S. intelligence agencies.
“Should that power be unchecked, or should you have a judicial system that says you know what, you want to get information, you have to have warrants and you have to have checks and balances on intelligence?” Paul said.
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Paul said:
It does matter who was in charge of the intelligence. It does matter because they started up this and ginned up this whole thing that have gone after the president saying he’s committed collusion with Russia. No evidence of that and it continues to go on. Who are the people that started this?
James Clapper, who lied to the Senate, said they weren’t collecting our information and yet they were collecting all of our information and housing it in Utah.
John Brennan has now accused — let me finish. John Brennan has now accused the president of treason. This is John Brennan who voted for the communist party when he was a young man. John Brennan now thinks he’s holier than anybody else. But these people had the power to collect every American’s information and these are the people —
But Blitzer did not let him finish.
On Tuesday, Paul went further. In an interview on CBS, Paul said, “We have to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it to be, and if we’re only going to talk to people who have perfect constitutional republics, we’re going to have a very small audience and we’re going to have a lot of potential conflicts with no outlet for diplomacy.”
Trump took to Twitter to praise Paul for his comments. “Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it! ‘The President has gone through a year and a half of totally partisan investigations – what’s he supposed think?’ ” Trump wrote.