FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show John McCain Calling Rand Paul Out For Objecting To Ukraine Joining NATO?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims to show deceased Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain calling Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul out for objecting to Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Verdict: Misleading

The video shows McCain calling out Paul for objecting to Montenegro joining NATO in 2017.

Fact Check:

Ukraine submitted an application to join NATO in September 2022 after Russia announced it would annex four oblasts partially under its control, according to The New York Times. Paul argued in April 2022 that the United States should not have backed Ukraine’s NATO aspirations, CNN reported.

The video shows McCain, who died in 2018, criticizing Paul for objecting. The video’s caption partially reads, ‘The late Sen. John McCain called out Rand Paul for objecting to the proposal for Ukraine join NATO. He could not give a good reason and McCain postulated the reason is Vladimir Putin.”

The video’s claim, though, is misleading. Paul was objecting to Montenegro joining NATO, not Ukraine in March 2017. The full video, published on C-SPAN, shows the Senate debating about approving Montenegro to join the defensive alliance. Paul also spoke on March 27, 2017, arguing against the country joining NATO.

The Senate approved Montenegro joining NATO the next day by a vote of 97-2, with Paul and Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee the only votes opposing the resolution, according to Politico. Montenegro joined NATO in June 2017, becoming the 29th member and the first country to join the alliance in a decade, NBC News reported. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Russian Helicopters Over A Ukrainian Town?)

Check Your Fact has debunked claims related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, including a claim that Ukraine recaptured Crimea.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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