Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) did not hold back. When asked about the Mueller investigation, Paul told host Jake Tapper exactly what he felt. “We need to move on,” Paul declared. The senator called on Mueller to bring his investigation to an end soon, before the November mid-term elections. Though hardly a Trump defender, Mr. Paul was clear in his criticism of Mueller.
Speaking of any Russian colusion, Paul said, “If we have proof that they did it, we should spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt of the president. I think we need to be done with this so we can protect our election.”
Paul and Tapper discussed Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian individuals, whom the Department of Justice claims hacked into a Democratic National Committee server, making thousands of internal emails public in an attempt to undercut American confidence in Democratic party leadership.
The Kentucky senator was critical of Mueller for allowing this investigation to drag out without an end in sight and apparently without any major discoveries.
Paul said, “I think we mistake our response if we think it’s about accountability from the Russians. They’re another country, they’re going to spy on us, they do spy on us, they’re going to interfere in our elections.”
Paul went on to note that Russia is unlikely to extradite any of the conspirators to face justice in the United States, and he said he feels it’s clear from the Justice Department’s actions that there was no real collaboration between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
The senator concluded, “I would say it’s not morally equivalent (to American influence), but I think in their mind it is. It’s important to know in your adversary’s mind the way they perceive things. They react to our interference in their elections and one of the reasons they didn’t like Hillary Clinton was that they found her responsible for some of the activity by the U.S. in their elections under the Obama administration.”
For his part, President Trump and the White House both issued similar statements, claiming that if Democrats were so concerned with election security, they should have taken measures to protect American elections before 2016.