Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Trump/Russia Is 'Overplayed,' and 'Distracting us From Everything Right Now'

Senator reacts to Comey hearing while unveiling new legislation to halt indefinite detention.

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On Thursday afternoon, as Washington, D.C., was in thrall to former FBI director James Comey's headline-making testimony on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) hosted a handful of libertarian journalists to talk about a series of under-the-radar legislative activities he's up to, including a new bill to prohibit indefinite detention.

Paul has been critical of what he has termed the "concocted" uproar over the Russia investigation, and this week agreed with Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) saying that "Russia hysteria" is paralyzing Congress, so I asked him to comment on how events like today's hearing are affecting the climate for pushing through civil libertarian work. Here's how he answered:

Reason on Rand Paul here. Watch this space tomorrow for our full interview, including discussion about indefinite detention, surveillance, criminal justice reform, his Jeff Sessions confirmation vote, and more.

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  1. you sugarfreed the video

    1. The senator’s answers are private.

    2. What the hell is that supposed to mean?

      1. Perhaps t rhymes with “”Eeeew!” yet I do not want to ponder overlong upon it.

        1. Drat.

          Nevermind.

        2. Oh…Hiya, Chuck! How the hell have you been?

      2. *snicker*

  2. According to Comey’s testimony today, it would appear that, as usual, Senator Paul is correct

    1. It was just red meat for both sides. There will never be a smoking gun nor a complete exoneration. Just endless bickering.

      1. Can I borrow your crystal ball? The Powerball is over $400 million.

        1. The entire intelligence community is pissed at Trump and leaking like sieves. If they had anything truly damning, you can bet your last dollar it would have come out by now. But they don’t, so instead we get innuendo from unnamed sources leaking rumors to WaPo.

          1. We all saw Trump commit likely obstruction of justice on primetime fucking TV.

            With Democrats having no power whatsoever at the federal level, you don’t get to blame this on a conspiracy. True, most of what Trump did is probably due mostly to galactic levels of stupidity, but then he’s the fucking president.

            1. Tony|6.8.17 @ 5:15PM|#
              “We all saw Trump commit likely obstruction of justice on primetime fucking TV.”

              Full
              of
              shit.
              Go scream TREASON! someplace where they’re dumb enough to believe you.

            2. We all saw Trump commit likely obstruction of justice on primetime fucking TV.

              No, you saw a fired bureaucrat who didn’t get along with Trump, yet can’t even definitively state that Trump committed obstruction, and then re-state as he did several weeks ago that Trump’s not under investigation. You saw what you wanted to see because you love getting blue-balled by the media.

            3. Here’s the thing, Tony. Trump is the president. He is the head of the executive branch, of which the FBI is a part. It would be completely, 100% legal for the POTUS to tell the head of the FBI, in plain English, to “stop investigating x”.
              100% legal.

              1. Unless X is the president.

                1. Unless X is the president

                  Since Trump isn’t under investigation, you have nothing to worry about, then.

                2. Tony|6.8.17 @ 8:01PM|#
                  “Unless X is the president.”

                  Poor Tony! Never learned to read…
                  “Also, Comey did tell Trump three times that he was not the subject of the Russia investigation.”
                  http://www.independentsentinel…..n-dropped/

                  1. Why are you defending Trump?

                    1. Attacking a logical fallacy is its own reward..

                    2. Why are you defending Trump?

                      “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

            4. Likely is the key word here. There isn’t a clear cut case for obstruction or conspiracy, and since there is a Special Prosecutor we should let him work the facts.

              This isn’t my opinion, talking head lawyer types on the news networks that aren’t Fox are indicating the same thing.

            5. We all saw Trump commit likely obstruction of justice on primetime fucking TV.

              Trump has the legal right to “obstruct justice”: it’s called the presidential pardon. If he had wanted the investigation to end, he could have simply pardoned him for any and all issues related to contacts with Russia.

          2. The Intelligence community is hoping that if they irritate Trump enough, he’ll perjure himself a la Bill Clinton. Hell, that just might work too. Trump is the proverbial bull in the china shop after all.

  3. If I trusted the United States Senate on any goddamn thing, I would consider the distraction a bad thing.

  4. Ooh, showing a little neck there, Senator.

    1. I bet Michael Hihn can’t wait to sink his teeth in.

      1. I meant gums.

  5. If 2016 showed us anything, it showed us that Republicans don’t listen to Rand Paul.

    1. True dat.

      1. When did Buttplug stop trolling? QQ

  6. Comey said both that Trump never asked him to stop the investigation and that Russia didn’t change a single vote.

    I agree with Rand Paul.

    Seeing Comey’s mentor put in charge of investigating Comey’s allegations means this won’t blow over anytime soon.

    Comey was Mueller’s deputy. Mueller and Comey threatened to resign together over a dispute with the Bush Administration. Mueller had Comey’s job at the FBI when Comey was his deputy. Mueller is investigating all of his former subordinates?

    The chances of Mueller finding that the FBI did something wrong are a million to one, and with that budget, he’ll need to show some scalps for it. The chances of this going away are zero with Mueller in charge of the investigation, but Rand Paul is right.

    Comey said both that Trump never asked him to stop the investigation and that Russia didn’t change a single vote, but who cares? That won’t sell newspapers, and it won’t justify Mueller’s budget.

    1. Libertarians unite against government accountability!*

      *Applies only to Republicans, no matter how obviously corrupt and retarded

      1. Illegitimi non carborundum!

        I there any point in asking what Tony is trying to say?

        What do you want to hold Republicans accountable for, Tony?

        WTF are you talking about?

        Do you imagine this is about pussy grabbing or something?

        1. No just moderate to high treason.

          1. LOL

            Just out of curiosity, which is worse in your book, braggadocio on pussy grabbing or high treason?

            1. Uh, the treason.

              1. Cool. Post some evidence.

                1. You first on Benghazi. That investigation is already over, so any evidence is out there, unlike the one currently ongoing by a special prosecutor’s team.

                  1. You first on Benghazi.

                    So…you’re saying this is very similar to the Benghazi thing?

                  2. I don’t give a shit about Benghazi. But thanks for admitting you don’t have any.

                  3. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen-GHAZZZZIIIIIIIIII

              2. Tony|6.8.17 @ 5:15PM|#
                “Uh, the treason.”

                Uh, the imbecile.

        2. I still don’t get the pussy-grabbing thing. Trump was bragging, but stating a fact that should be obvious to anyone with a pulse. Rich, good-looking celebrities are swimming in chicks. Especially when those chicks are beauty contestants/models/actress wannabees.

          If I go to a bar and grab some chick’s boob, I get slapped, probably tossed from the bar. If I’m that chick’s boss I get fired and maybe sued.

          If my real name were Ryan Gosling, she brags about it Facebook and has us re-enact the incident so she can post a photo on Instagram for her friends.

          This is known, and it’s all Trump was saying.

          1. That’s the way Cathy Young read it, too.

            Point was, the left’s support for this investigation has far more to do with pussy grabbing, Trump’s anti-PC attitude, and his having beaten Hillary than it has to do with anything substantive.

            It isn’t about the facts or anything that’s actually happened. It’s about pussy grabbing braggadocio.

            Can’t have un-PC people in places of power. That’s a big part of what being a SJW is all about.

            1. Can’t have un-PC people in places of power. That’s a big part of what being a SJW is all about.

              Do you think only SJWs find the pussy bragging, and bleeding out of her whereever, and whatever other stuff he has said and supposedly has said to be offputting?

              1. When I say that progressives and SJWs are mostly making a big deal out of the Russia thing because they want to go after Trump for pussy grabbing and being un-PC, it’s giving them the benefit of the doubt.

                There’s nothing to the Russia allegations. Making a big deal out of nothing would be an even bigger embarrassment. At least in going after Trump for being un-PC, Trump really is un-PC.

                1. Making a big deal out of nothing would be an even bigger embarrassment.

                  Is Trump’s firing of Comey in the middle of an investigation into people connected to his campaign a big deal?

                  1. Nah. Trump just likes firing people.

                  2. “Is Trump’s firing of Comey in the middle of an investigation into people connected to his campaign a big deal?”

                    No.

                    Trump should have fired Comey his first day in office. The way Comey covered up for Hillary (and Obama’s AG) was ridiculous.

                    I suppose firing Comey for that would have been vindictive, too?

                    And, anyway, no–Trump firing Comey was not a big deal.

                    1. You’re crying as you type this ridiculousness, aren’t you?

          2. It’s still sexual assault. You people, jesus fuck.

            Why are you defending a man who is obviously going to go down as the worst president in history? Up to and including his admitting to using his relative power to commit sexual assault?

            1. Why are you attacking Trump on Russia when it’s really about pussy grabbing?

            2. It’s pretty autistic to read that as an admission of guilt.
              Social cues, how do they work?

            3. “Why are you defending a man who is obviously going to go down as the worst president in history?”

              No, we’re not defending Obo.

              1. Pretty sure the “worst president in history” is Buchanan.

                He set a pretty high bar that no one has been able to beat.

                1. It’s only June.

              2. No, we’re not defending Obo.

                Sorry. As bad as he was, he still doesn’t hold a candle to W’s awfulness.

                1. “Sorry. As bad as he was, he still doesn’t hold a candle to W’s awfulness.”

                  Sorry, as bad as W. was, he ended up not holding a candle to that slimy liar Obo.

                2. None of them can sniff Woodrow Wilson’s jock.

            4. How is it sexual assault if both parties are willing?

              Oh… relative power… So women shouldn’t be able to use their bodies to better themselves… Did Trump say he was going to retaliate against women who DIDN’T let him grab them by the pussy?

              No?

              Has he?

              If he has, then those women could sue him. And yeah, they could. Worked for the women suing Cosby.

              But instead, you just have faux outrage “for women” by people who busily defend Woody Allen and Bill Maher. A real child rapist and a misogynist who happens to be smart enough to only target Republican women. Or of the rape island-visiting Bill Clinton who still has never answered for raping then-Democrat Juanita Broaderick.

              Get outta here with your fake outrage, Tony boy. It’s sad.

          3. Rich, good-looking celebrities are swimming in chicks.

            They don’t even have to be good looking, just rich and a celebrity.

  7. “Russia hysteria” is paralyzing Congress

    If that’s what it takes to see a real libertarian moment, I’m good with it.

    1. I don’t want them paralyzed if they’re repealing bad la…ah, yeah, never mind.

      1. +1

        The House passed a bill to repeal the individual mandate, kill the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion, and get rid of the rule that keeps employers from giving employees more than 29 hours a week unless they offer them health insurance.

        We’ve got tax cuts pending, deregulation, etc.

        1. If only any of this will become law. What more likely will become law are mandatory minimums and anti-flag burning laws (and shit like that).

          1. Trump will sign the AHCA if it hits his desk.

            And the Republicans control the Senate.

            I think a lot of this is about neocons in the Senate like John McCain opposing Trump over his attempts to work with Putin.

            I think a lot of it has to do with Republicans in swing states being afraid of getting blamed for killing Medicaid.

            But for goodness’ sake, all that’s standing in the way is a Republican controlled Senate!

            1. Trump will sign the AHCA if it hits his desk.

              Which it probably won’t do.

              And the Republicans control the Senate.

              That doesn’t mean they’ll pass the AHCA.

              Will this pass the Senate if it passes the House? Maybe.

            2. Trump will sign the AHCA if it hits his desk.

              Which isn’t going to happen.

          2. I want the suppressor bill to get through.

            What happened to that?

            1. I hate to say it, but at this point that’s my biggest question.

  8. Paul isn’t very coherent on why he thinks there’s nothing to the Russia thing, but he seems to believe that people are only permitted one opinion about James Comey, and they better stick to it or else they’re hypocrites. And his opinion is that Comey is an advocate of big law enforcement, and so regardless of any other fact it’s good that he’s gone, and thus Russia is a nonstory. Senate material!

    1. “Paul isn’t very coherent . . . “

      You’re the most consistently incoherent person I’ve ever seen in my life. I have no idea what you’re talking about in this comment–or the one either.

      1. You on the other hand are consistently sucking Republican dong.

        1. You were really hoping for this investigation to be about something, weren’t you?

          1. I was hoping that the single worst human in the western world wouldn’t become president of the United States, mostly.

            1. And she didn’t!

              1. *high five

            2. Yeah, Hillary didn’t.

            3. TONY 2016

              1. Have to acknowledge that this made me lol. But I’m also high as fuck.

            4. Tony|6.8.17 @ 5:18PM|#
              “I was hoping that the single worst human in the western world wouldn’t become president of the United States, mostly.”

              You’re in luck; she lost.

              1. Only four hours late making the same joke. What are you, a professor of Smartology at the Sorbonne?

            5. Hitler didn’t become President of the United States.

              Oh, and There are plenty of people alive who are far worse than Trump. You’re really cranking up the rhetoric, aren’t you? It’s really kinda pathetic to see these posts. You can’t even keep those flecks of foam off of your cheek, can you, you rabidly pathetic hyper-partisan???

          2. He’s super disappointed that nothing really came of this hearing today.

            Don’t worry, Tony. This is the Democrats’ Benghazi. It will never end. Those shiny keys will jangle before your eyes for years to come.

            1. It’s always amusing when people betray exactly which outlets they’re getting their news from.

              You know FOX and Drudge have to do this song and dance, right?

              1. I don’t have cable, nor do I visit Drudge.

                1. Tony has an active imagination.

                  1. Tony has an active imagination.

                    He’s actually capable of scoring a few hits when he’s not arguing with the caricature in his head. This little bitch-fit of his is a pretty solid indication that Comey’s testimony was a disappointment.

  9. Rand Paul is okay with Russia’s infiltration of the executive branch?

    1. Which positions were infiltrated?

        1. Crusty, put a damn bandage on it.

        2. Rub some salve on that.

      1. The whole “Drumph” thing is a red herring. Trump’s real name is Trumpsky.

        1. Wrong, “Trumpsky” would be Polish. His real surname is “Trumpovsky”, which is Russian.

          Thought you could cover for him, but I caught it.

          1. Trumpov is better.

    2. Out of your mind.

      1. Flynn, Manafort, Bannon, Tillerson, Page, Stone, the freaking Trump organization… all deeply tied to Russian oligarchic interests.

        Nothing to see here! Unlike Benghazi.

          1. And he’s a Jew too, no less.

            1. A crafty, Jew who comes from a real estate background.

        1. Yet Trump asked him to go after his satellites if they were involved.

          But don’t let reality slow you down.

          1. It’s just everyone in his entire entourage.

            Nothing to see here! Unlike that Pizza sex ring thing.

            1. Tony|6.8.17 @ 5:26PM|#
              “It’s just everyone in his entire entourage.”

              See? Trump is so clever, he even hides it this way! BTW Tony, was Trump the guy on the grassy knoll?
              You’re a laugh riot!

              1. I know you’re a cousin-fucking moron, but why… why do you have to defend Trump? Is the (R) after his name so important? Really?

                1. Tony|6.8.17 @ 8:05PM|#
                  “I know you’re a cousin-fucking moron, but why… why do you have to defend Trump? Is the (R) after his name so important? Really?”

                  Gee, shitbag, two quick lies in succession!

        2. Tony, don’t forget your tinfoil hat before you start connecting all these dots with yarn.

          1. I don’t have to as I’ve outsourced it to the special prosecutor currently investigating these matters.

        3. Oh, Tony.

          /coy wave of hand.

        4. You forget Bill and Hillary Clinton. We have proof that they were bought by the Russians. You know… REAL proof, not the fantastic shit in your head.

  10. ‘Distracting us From Everything Right Now’

    I’m waiting for the bad news.

  11. Rand Paul: Trump/Russia Is ‘Overplayed,’ and ‘Distracting us From Everything Right Now’

    While it does distract Paul and the few other non-shitheels from doing anything good on the civil liberties front, it also prevents the rest of the shitheels from doing anything to fuck stuff up as well.

    Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.

  12. Meh.

    Despite how much some libertarians/Libertarians want Rand Paul to be a libertarian/Libertarian, he is still a Republican.

    And as such, he thinks “Russia!” is a distraction, but was fine with “Benghazi!” which was serious business.

    So nothing surprising here. Just politics like usual.

    1. ^ This.

      He’s an unusually decent Republican, but he’s definitely embraced partisanship in order to further his ambitions. I can easily see him becoming Robert Redford in The Candidate.

    2. Tell me the one again about free speech on college campuses not being libertarian or backed by the 1A.

  13. Has Rand Paul accomplished anything while in the Senate? Any legislation? What’s his excuse for voting for Jeff Sessions again?

    1. What’s his excuse for voting for Jeff Sessions again?

      Um – that Sessions lied to him about wanting to work with him on criminal justice reform?

    2. Tell me the one again about free speech on college campuses not being libertarian or backed by the 1A.

      1. Nice, Reason, what a functional comment system you have.

  14. “Distracting us From Everything Right Now'”

    Duh.

    The DNC and mush brained progressives don’t realize they’re doing him a favour.

  15. Matt Welch – same concept as yesterday – this theater is distracting, but today legitimate.

  16. “Russia hysteria” is paralyzing Congress

    You say that as if it’s a bad thing. As long as Congress and the president are tied up in knots of non-existent Russia issues, they can’t do any harm. From a libertarian point of view, that’s a win.

    In fact, this is playing out how many people expected it to play out and probably one of the reasons Trump won: he didn’t have much of a legislative agenda to begin with, and he would be tied up in scandals and attacks. On the other hand, Trump can still quietly undo Obama’s bad regulations and appoint conservative judges and bureaucrats.

  17. What I do not get, is WHAT some human beings from Russia did to influence a USA election. Did they enter the voting booths and have the voters push certain buttons….or hack into the voting machines and change the data somehow…or just give theirpublic opinions about who SHOULD win the election……or what..

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