Watch: CNN's Jake Tapper Lectures GOP Senator Equating NATO with Russian Aggression

"Russia invades other countries and takes over those countries."

Jake Tapper and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday defended NATO to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), as the Republican senator appeared to equate the alliance with Russia’s attacks on other countries.

Paul accused the United States of engaging in election interference throughout the world, before suggesting NATO offers “a disproportionate advantage to the west.”

“I think there are a lot of people out there who would have been surprised to hear a sitting United States senator describe Russia versus NATO in terms of confrontation and expansion as a chicken or egg proposition given the fact that NATO protects sovereign countries while allowing them to remain sovereign while Russia invades other countries and takes over those countries,” Tapper said.

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“Right,” Paul replied. “Well, what I would say is that there were people—probably the greatest diplomat of the last century was George Kennan, and he did predict that as NATO expanded you would incite militaristic tendencies and nationalism in Russia. I’m not justifying Russian aggression in the Ukraine or Georgia.”

“I’m not saying they are equivalent,” Paul continued. “I’m saying though that the provocation of pushing NATO forward after we promised Gorbachev that the west would not go one inch beyond Germany. And yet and under the Clinton administration we kept pushing, pushing, pushing. For every action we put out there there is a reaction.”

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Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.