Sen. Rand Paul called aide Jack Hunter "incredibly talented." (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is defending a former staffer who has argued in favor of secession and the Confederacy.

According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday, Jack Hunter, a social media staffer for Paul, has in the past made incendiary comments about race and the Civil War. Hunter has said his views have moderated in recent years.