Paul: Democrats have 'decided to criminalize politics'

Paul: Democrats have 'decided to criminalize politics'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election Hillicon Valley: Senate report finds major cyber shortcomings in federal agencies | Gig firms seek Mass. ballot question to classify workers as contractors | Blizzard's president steps down after workplace protests MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday that Democrats have decided to “criminalize politics” while he defended President Trump against allegations of wrongdoing as the House pushes forward with the impeachment process. 

Paul called the process a “very partisan thing” and said that he predicts no Senate Republicans will vote to remove Trump in an expected Senate trial.

“This is a disagreement. People on the Democratic side don’t like President Trump, they don’t like his demeanor so they decided to sort of criminalize politics,” Paul said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

“I don’t think it’s a good thing. I don’t think it’s a good day for the country, I think it’s a sad day because I hope it doesn't devolve into every president like in different parts of Latin America where we either impeach or throw presidents into jail just because we don’t like their politics,” he continued. “I think that will really dumb down and destroy the country.”

Paul also said that the president's opinion on foreign aid is similar to his own and said Trump had “doubts” on the issue. He also said that “foreign aid does not cure corruption,” but rather “aids and abets” corruption. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCBC presses Biden to extend eviction moratorium The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Manchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' MORE pressed Paul, asking him if he “really” thinks Trump was concerned about corruption in his dealings with Ukraine, noting that “corruption” is not mentioned on the transcript of a July 25 call central to the impeachment probe. 

“Yes I do,” Paul said. 

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The senator also said that the media is misreporting the fact that Trump asked Ukrainian leaders to investigate a political rival. 

“It’s a fact,” Tapper said. 

“Well, it’s not what you said is completely untrue. The president didn't call up the president of Ukraine and say 'investigate my rival,' ” Paul responded.

Tapper said that Trump did ask Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries FDA aims to give full approval to Pfizer vaccine by Labor Day: report Overnight Defense: Police officer killed in violence outside Pentagon | Biden officials back repeal of Iraq War authorization | NSC pushed to oversee 'Havana Syndrome' response MORE, a top 2020 candidate. 

“The thing is you guys are not being honest with the facts here. He did not say 'investigate my rival,' he said 'investigate a person,' ” Paul said. 

“And Joe Biden is his rival,” Tapper responded.