Earlier we told you about the drama in the Senate when Senator Rand Paul objected to consideration allowing Montenegro into the NATO. Senator McCain brought up the treaty and specifically stated blocking it would benefit Vladimir Putin. When Senator Paul registered his objection, without explanation, Senator McCain said, “The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”

Senator McCain’s Communications Director, Julia Tarallo, issued the following statement about the issue:

Senator McCain believes that the person who benefits the most from Congress’s failure to ratify Montenegro’s ascension to NATO is Vladimir Putin, whose government has sought to destroy the NATO alliance, erode confidence in America’s commitments to its allies, overthrow the duly-elected government of Montenegro, and undermine democratic institutions throughout Europe. The overwhelming majority of senators who support this treaty, and certainly the people of Montenegro, deserved an explanation from Senator Paul on the Senate floor as to why he sought to prevent this small, brave country from joining in the defense of the free world.

***** UPDATE: Senator Rand Paul responds directly:

“Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan).  In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO.  It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.”

** An earlier version of this article mistakenly said the United Nations. The issue is about NATO. RedState regrets the error.