Effectively downplaying Russian interference in U.S. elections, Senator Rand Paul said Sunday that all countries meddle in elections, including the United States.
“I think really 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," the Kentucky Republican said on CNN's "State of the Union," a day before President Donald Trump's scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
“We’re going to do the same," Paul added.
In light of the recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers related to hacking during the 2016 election, Paul thought it pertinent to mention that such activities are common — though he added that Russia’s cyber intrusions are not “morally equivalent” to that of the U.S.
According to Paul, the issue is not whether Russia engages in cyberattacks against the U.S. but how well we are prepared for it:
“We all do it. What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected," Paul said. “They’re not going to admit it in the same way we’re not going to admit we were involved in the Ukrainian elections or the Russian elections.”
Paul also blamed former President Barack Obama for not doing more to halt Moscow's aggression, echoing a series of tweets from Trump on Saturday.
“I wish President Obama had been more aggressive in pursuing it," Paul said.