Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | John McCain | Rand Paul | Rand Paul | John McCain | ISIS | Free Syrian Army

Rand Paul Holds Tight to McCain-ISIS Hoax

Image: Rand Paul Holds Tight to McCain-ISIS Hoax
Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., left, and John McCain, R-Ariz. (Jay LaPrete/Getty Images; T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 02:19 PM


It seems Rand Paul has indeed been hoaxed — or is not paying attention to the news — as the Kentucky senator continues to assert publicly that his colleague John McCain met with members of the Islamic State (ISIS), a claim repeatedly proven to be false, the Daily Beast reports.

While photos of McCain, some doctored, allegedly meeting with the terrorists have been circulated by so-called conspiracy theorists and opponents, the Arizona lawmaker has repeatedly said that he met only with members of the Free Syrian Army — fighters who oppose the radical Islamists who have seized pillaged Iraq and beheaded Western journalists, the Beast said.

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They are the same fighters the Obama administration seeks to arm.

“Here’s the problem. He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time," Paul told the Daily Beast. "That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t."

Paul continued: "If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you — I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists."

McCain, a senior Republican statesman with plenty of foreign affairs and military policy gravitas, is not amused.

“I can’t believe Rand is still repeating this stuff, which came from a Hezbollah newspaper in Lebanon! He’s getting his information from Hezbollah. It’s outrageous … I don’t know if Rand is dishonest or misinformed," McCain told the Beast.

"I met with the Northern Storm and Gen. Idriss, who was the head of the Free Syrian Army," McCain said. "Most of the guys in that picture are dead now, killed by ISIS. It’s just ridiculous.”

There is no love lost between the lawmakers, even as both broadly agree that the Islamic state group is a massive threat that must be dealt with. Paul's position has morphed as the challenges faced by fighting a global jihad group become more clear.

As he is mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, Paul has stepped up his rhetoric directed at another possible candidate, Democrat Hillary Clinton. But that doesn't mean that he's stopped going after McCain, noted the Beast, who once described Paul as “part of a wing of the party that has been there prior to World War I, that is a withdrawal to ‘Fortress America.’”

McCain's jab came after Paul had asserted that the senator had his "picture taken with some kidnappers."

On Tuesday, McCain went after Paul on Fox News over assertions that U.S. weapons sent to arm vetted Syrian rebels had somehow ended up in the hands of the Islamic State terrorists, adding fuel to their heated exchanges.

McCain noted that Paul was "sliding down the slope of credibility."

"Has Rand Paul ever been to Syria? Has he ever met with ISIS? Has he ever met with any of these people? No, no, no," McCain said on Fox. "We're going to have a fight, because it's patently false.

"This is the same Rand Paul that said we didn't want to have anything to do with anything to do in the Middle East, by the way. I don't want to get in a fight with him at all."

Members of Congress continued their quest to set a clear strategy in the region as threats from the Islamic State increased. The House of Representatives was expected to take up a vote Wednesday on arming vetted Syrian rebel groups to fight against ISIS, The Hill reported.

President Barack Obama had sought such a request from Congress last week.

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It seems Rand Paul has indeed been hoaxed - or is not paying attention to the news - as the Kentucky senator continues to assert that Sen. John McCain met with members of the Islamic State, a claim repeatedly proven to be false.
Rand Paul, John McCain, ISIS, Free Syrian Army
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2014-19-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 02:19 PM
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