Commenting on the hysterical reaction by the liberal media and some lawmakers to President Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said it is “Trump Derangement Syndrome” by people “who hate the president so much.”
The conservative/libertarian senator added that certain leaders in the U.S. intelligence community, including James Clapper and John Brennan of the Obama administration, had “ginned up” the story about collusion between Russia and the 2016 campaign but there is “no evidence” it ever happened.
Further, said Paul, former Intelligence Director Clapper “lied to the Senate,” and former CIA Director Brennan, who now accuses Trump of treason, “voted for the Communist Party when he was a young man.”
On CNN’s The Situation Room, July 16, host Wolf Blitzer said, “Senator, thanks so much for joining us. Let me get right to the questioning. Do you believe that President Trump's meeting with -- with Putin made America safer?
Senator Paul replied, “I think engagement with our adversaries, conversation with our adversaries is a good idea. Even in the height of the Cold War, maybe at the lowest ebb when we were in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis, I think it was a good thing that [President] Kennedy had a direct line to [Nikita]Khrushchev.”
“So I think that it is a good idea to have engagement,” he said. “And I think that what is lost in this is that I think there's a bit of Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
“I think there are people who hate the president so much that this could have easily been President Obama early in his first administration, setting the reset button and trying to have better relations with Russia,” said Paul.
He continued, “And I think it's lost on people that they [Russia] are a nuclear power. They have influence in Syria. They're in close proximity to our troops in Syria. They are close to the peninsula of North Korea and may have some influence that could help us there.”
“The other thing that's lost, and people forget this completely, the Russians tried to help us stop the Boston Marathon bombing,” said Paul. “We actually did help them stop a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, because we were communicating and exchanging information. All those things are good.”
“But because people hate Trump so much, all of that's being lost,” he said.
Blitzer then responded, “It's not a matter of hating President Trump. It's a matter of what he did today, what he said today. He met with President Putin, as you know, for more than two hours. Unlike other presidents, especially on foreign soil, he blamed the United States for the bad relationship with Russia. He declined to back his own intelligence community for its assessment. He declined to support the U.S. law enforcement community -–.”
“… He continues to call the news media -- a free press in the United States -- the enemy of the American people,” said Blitzer. … Has any other president in American history done anything like that?”
Senator Paul replied, “But I think I would put this in perspective. So, for example, when you look at the intelligence community, the most recent leaders of the intelligence community, James Clapper and John Brennan, James Clapper perjured himself before the Senate ….”
“It does matter who was in charge of the intelligence,” said Paul. “It does matter, because they started up this and ginned up this thing going after the president saying he committed collusion with Russia. No evidence of that, and it continues to go on.”
“Who are the people that started this?” said the senator. “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.”
Paul continued, “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 everybody else.
“… I am concerned, used their bias against President Trump, and absolutely, I'm with the president on this,” said Paul. “The intelligence community was full of biased people including Peter Strzok – [Andrew] McCabe and dozens of others.”