Paul on alleged attacker: I haven't talked to him in 10 years

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads How conservative conspiracy theories are deepening America's political divide Gianforte halts in-person campaigning after wife, running mate attend event with Guilfoyle MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he's still unsure of the motive behind his neighbor's alleged assault on the senator outside his home earlier this month, adding the two had not spoken in roughly 10 years.

“After my ribs were broken, then he said things to me to try to indicate why he was unhappy but I think the, I guess to me the bottom line is it isn’t so important — if someone mugs you is it really justified for any reason?" Paul told Fox News in his first televised interview since the incident.

Paul said he was mowing his lawn with earmuffs on to block the noise when the attacker tackled him from behind.

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"And so I think the more people belabored, 'Oh well was it about yard clippings, was it because he hates Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE, does he hate you because you oppose Obamacare?' You don't really know what's in someone's mind and so it may have some relevance, but for the most part the real question should be 'are you allowed to attack someone from behind in their yard when they’re out mowing their grass?' " Paul continued.

Paul returned to the Senate two weeks ago after suffering six broken ribs in the assault. 

Rene Boucher, Paul’s neighbor for 17 years, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to a fourth-degree assault charge. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted and is due back in court Nov. 30 for a pretrial hearing.

Boucher’s lawyer has described the feud as being over a “trivial matter” not related to politics.

Some reports have suggested the incident stemmed from an argument over landscaping, but Paul, his wife and his staff have pushed back, calling it a “blindside, violent attack.”