In his first interview since being sucker-attacked 10 days ago while doing yard work in Kentucky, Sen. Rand Paul said there was “no justification” for what happened.

Struggling to breathe and talk, the result of six ribs being broken in the incident, Paul told Secrets that he knew of no motive that would have sparked his neighbor to hit him from behind.

“From my perspective, I’m not really too concerned about what someone’s motive is. I’m just concerned that I was attacked from the back and somebody broke six of my ribs and gave me a damaged lung where at least for now I have trouble speaking and breathing and now I’ve hurt for 10 days,” the senator said after arriving back in Washington for a week of critical votes.

Paul, a former Republican presidential candidate, was doing yard work on Nov. 3 when he was blindsided by the attack allegedly by Rene Boucher, his neighbor. Boucher was charged with fourth-degree assault and released on Saturday on $7,500 bond.

Paul, 54, suffered six broken ribs, cuts on his face, and has fluid buildup in his chest. Recovery could take months and the pain is great, he said.

Paul and Boucher share a property line in the gated Rivergreen community in Bowling Green, Ky. Several neighbors reached out to Secrets to reject early claims that the dispute was related to poor landscaping by Paul, and there has never been a complaint about that filed with the community’s homeowners association.

No official reason has been given for the attack and the lawyer for Boucher, 59, said politics was not the cause. Social media posts from Boucher show that he is aggressively anti-Trump and anti-Republican.

Paul said nothing could excuse the surprise attack.

“Really if you told me he was doing it for some noble cause to feed starving children somewhere, there is no motive. There is no motive that would justify hitting somebody from behind and breaking their ribs and damaging their lungs, so no, there is no justification for something like that,” he said, pausing often to catch his breath.

The two-term senator said that he hasn’t talked to Boucher in a decade. “My first encounter was basically being hit in the back,” he said. “We’ve never had words over anything, we’ve never had a dispute or discussion or words,” added Paul, who was at the Republicans' Congressional Baseball Game practice when members under fire by a gunman angry at the GOP.

Paul said in this case, “there is going to be a criminal prosecution,” and felt limited in what he could or wanted to say about the case.

Asked about his recovery, he tried a bit of humor. “I would assume it gets better,” he said, adding, “I’m about 10 to 11 days out. Physically I’m in less pain. I just am still having trouble completing sentences because I have to get enough air to expel so there is a little difficulty going still with breathing.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com