Rand Paul adviser: Critics are butchering senator’s comments on sanctions and Nazi Germany

A top adviser to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Monday that Paul's comments about American sanctions and World War II are being taken out of context.

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin reported Sunday on a 2012 video in which Paul said that sanctions against Japan and Nazi Germany might have contributed to their aggression.

"There are times when sanctions have made it worse," Paul said. "Leading up to World War II, we cut off trade with Japan. That probably caused Japan to react angrily. We also had a blockade on Germany after World War I that probably encouraged some of their anger."

 

After some criticism, Paul's senior adviser, Doug Stafford, issued a statement to The Washington Post clarifying that Paul is not opposed to having fought World War II and that the blame belongs on the shoulders of Adolf Hitler.

"World War II was a necessary war, a just war, a fully declared war, and an entirely victorious war; the megalomaniac Hitler was to blame for the war and the Holocaust," Stafford said. "Anyone who misstates Sen. Paul's position otherwise is writing fiction."

Stafford added that Paul has made clear that he believes sanctions are warranted in some cases.

"Sen. Paul supports and has voted for the use of sanctions against Iran and Russia," Stafford said. "Anyone who misstates his position on sanctions is misinformed or intentionally misleads and their work should be judged accordingly."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | March 31