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Rand Paul Defends Putin Summit in Wild Interview: Critics All Have ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) had an off-the-walls interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday as he defended President Donald Trump over his summit with Vladimir Putin in Finland.

Blitzer started things off by asking Paul if Trump really made America safer by throwing the U.S. intelligence community under the bus by taking Putin’s word over theirs. Paul favorably compared the summit to other meetings American leaders held with foreign adversaries in the past, and then he promptly shrugged off the deluge of criticism towards Trump.

“I think there’s a bit of Trump Derangement Syndrome and people that hate the president so much that this could have easily been President Obama early in the first administration setting the reset button and trying to have better relations with Russia and I think it’s lost on people that they’re a nuclear power…”

As Paul argued that people forget the positives of engaging in diplomacy with Russia, Blitzer countered by going through the ways in which Trump undermined America in Putin’s favor. Paul moved on to take shots at James Clapper and John Brennan for their recent statements on Russia, and the interview ended up getting combative as Blitzer tried to keep the focus on Dan Coats, who rebuked Trump by defending the intelligence community assessment of Russia’s actions in 2016.

As the discussion continued, Blitzer asked Paul, “Who do you trust: American intelligence community, the American law enforcement community or Vladimir Putin?” Paul chose to not answer the question directly, preferring to say that the intelligence community needs greater checks and balances. He did insist, however, that he wasn’t “discounting the allegations that the Russians hacked into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.”

As Paul continued to blame the political frenzy on “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” Blitzer noted that Newt Gingrich, a supporter of the president, has joined the chorus of critics over the summit. The CNN host tried once again to ask if Trump did a good thing by undermining U.S. intel, though Paul continued to argue, “I don’t see it that way at all.”

Watch above, via CNN

[Image via screengrab]

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