Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Tuesday spoke against slapping new sanctions on Russia for what the U.S. intelligence community believes was widespread interference in the 2016 election.
Asked about how the U.S. should respond to Russian hackers, Paul said during an interview, "I'm really not in favor of new sanctions against Russia now or new sanctions on Iran."
He added, "Everything we say Russia's done wrong. So China does," before listing off examples of cyber-espionage, suppressing freedom of speech and human rights violations.
Paul made the comments as the Senate is on the cusp of passing a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill, which also includes sanctions against Russia.
SEN. @RANDPAUL:"I'm really not in favor of new sanctions against Russia now...everything we say #Russia's done wrong? So has #China & us." pic.twitter.com/hwPPxspkOP— Kevin Cirilli (@kevcirilli) June 14, 2017
When pressed on a proper U.S. response to Russian meddling, he belittled sanctions as akin to "tweaking their nose" and said improved cyber-security is what the U.S. really needs.
After all, "everybody in the world who can spy, spies," he said, including the U.S.
The Obama administration administered sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine in 2014, and another round was put in place last December, along with ordering dozens of diplomats out of the country in retaliation for Russia's alleged election meddling.