Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) strongly defended the administration and criticized the Senate Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation of the Trump’s administration’s ties to Russia during a Monday interview with Jake Tapper on CNN.
“I still think that we’ve got a Special Counsel, let them do their job. The rest is all for show. This is political theater. Really, those committees aren’t getting anywhere, if there was really anything done wrong, it’ll come out of the Special Counsel and my suspicion is that very little of anything will come out of there. There may be some people that didn’t file their paperwork properly or didn’t file to be registered as foreign agents, but I kind of doubt there’s going to be anything.”
Paul went on to describe Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is set to testify before the committee today, as a “hardliner on Russia” and that it was “sort of crazy” to allege that Sessions had any ties to the Russian government. Paul then derided the committee hearings as little more than a “political operation”.
Numerous Democratic Senators, particularly Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), have attempted to use the hearings to garner support for likely 2020 presidential bids.
Asked about the request by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that the President release any tapes he may have of FBI Director James Comey to the Senate and to the Special Counsel, Paul said that while he did not think it was entirely “appropriate” for Trump to threaten Comey with the release of tapes, he believes Comey’s testimony “completely vindicated everything the President had said – Comey said [Trump] wasn’t being investigated, Comey said he felt pressured but wasn’t told directly not to do anything and the President said he hoped he hadn’t done anything – I don’t know when hoping you don’t do something is an obstruction of justice.”
Paul concluded that the whole Russia debacle was a “distraction” from more important issues, such as “trying to fix the healthcare system” and “trying to fix our tax codes”.