Of all the 100 U.S. senators, Rand Paul has what appears to be the most complex relationship with President Trump. Despite having a record of voting against the president more than any other Republican, Paul and Trump are personal friends, and Paul has been his biggest supporter in times when it counted the most. At The Hill, Alexander Bolton outlines the friendship and working relationship between the two political outsiders, writing:
Paul’s allies point to the similarities between Trump and Paul on other areas of foreign policy.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that he opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and U.S. military intervention in Libya in 2011, although those claims have come under some skeptical scrutiny. Trump also criticized former President Obama’s Syria policy, urging him to focus on fixing America instead of attacking Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Paul has also long supported cutting U.S. foreign aid to Pakistan, something that the Trump administration did earlier this month.
Darling, Paul’s former aide, also pointed out that while the senator has defended Trump in high-profile instances, he has often voted contrary to the president.
A legislative scorecard compiled by FiveThirtyEight.com, a website that specializes in statistical analysis, found that Paul voted with Trump only 74 percent of the time, the lowest percentage of the Senate GOP conference.
Outside of the daily policy debates that dominate Washington, Trump and Paul have forged a personal friendship. Before Trump ran for president, he helped fund Paul’s first medical mission to Guatemala with a contribution to the University of Utah.
They have golfed together many times since Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
“Sen. Rand Paul considers President Trump a personal friend. Their relationship predates either one of them running for the presidency. From increased engagement around the world, to cutting regulations and taxes at home, to ending futile nation-building exercises around the world, they have often found areas of mutual agreement,” said Sergio Gor, Paul’s deputy chief of staff.
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