President Trump promised to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin at their Monday meeting about extradition of the 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe Friday — but Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said don't bother.
"I think it'd be a moot point. I don't think Russia is sending anyone back over here for trial, the same way we wouldn't send anybody over there for trial," Paul mused on CNN's State of the Union. Americans would be better served, the senator said, if Washington worked to develop stronger security for future votes.
"I think we have to protect ourselves," Paul said. "So, because we waste time saying, 'Well, Putin needs to admit this and apologize' — he's not going to admit that he did it, and we can't take on face value anything they tell us. We have to assume — and if we have proof that they did it, which it sounds like we [do] — we should now spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president," Paul continued. "If the president is involved, by all means put the information forward."
The Kentucky senator noted that the U.S. has a long history of meddling in foreign elections, arguing that though American and Russian actions are not "morally equivalent," the U.S. would do well to remember that past interference in Russia's sphere of influence may have helped motivate Russia's actions. "If we don't realize everything we do has a reaction," Paul said, "we're not going to be very clear on having peace in the world."
Watch an excerpt of Paul's comments below. Bonnie Kristian