Former Republican presidential candidate and Senator John McCain has accused fellow Senator Rand Paul of working for Russian President Vladimir Putin after he objected to a treaty related to Montenegro
"He has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians," McCain said from the Senate floor on Wednesday, after Paul blocked an attempt to vote on the treaty for NATO membership for Montenegro, a tiny state in Southeastern Europe.
"The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin," McCain said of Paul.
McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asked for unanimous consent to set up a vote on the measure, but Paul, who opposes expansion of NATO, objected.
The Arizona senator condemned Paul for objecting to his request to consider the measure "without any justification or any rationale."
McCain, considered a sworn enemy of Russia in the US Senate, warned before he asked for consent that any senator who objected was "carrying out the desires and ambitions" of the Russian leader, Putin.
"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."
- 'McCain not credible to talk on Russia hack'
- 'McCain, part of US oligarchy thriving on war'
- Russia waging war against US: McCain
However, Paul argued that "it is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”
“Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan). In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO," he said.
Senator Paul, and his father, former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, have maintained strong positions against the military-industrial complex and the Federal Reserve, each of which they consider responsible for many of the ills afflicting the United States.
Dr. Paul said in January that there is a neoconservative axis in the Senate, made of McCain, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, which might destroy America by increasing the military spending up to five trillion dollars over the next five years.