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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., an opponent of the House Republican healthcare reform plan, discusses the bill before a TV interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March, 15, 2017.
J. Scott Applewhite—AP

Sen. Rand Paul said his colleague Sen. John McCain has become “unhinged,” extending a heated war of words between the two Republicans.

“You know, I think he makes a really, really strong case for term limits,” Paul said of McCain on MSNBC Thursday morning. “I think maybe he’s past his prime. I think maybe he’s gotten a little bit unhinged.”

Paul’s comments come after McCain claimed on the Senate floor Wednesday the Kentucky senator “is now working for Vladimir Putin.” McCain had asked for unanimous consent to establish a vote for a treaty that would allow Montenegro to join NATO. Paul had objected to consenting.

“He has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians,” McCain said. “The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”

McCain also said anyone who blocked his request would be “now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin.”

Paul defended his decision on MSNBC, calling McCain’s accusations “over the top.”

“To call someone somehow an enemy of the state or a traitor might be considered by most reasonable people to be a little over the top,” Paul said.

Paul also said he objected to McCain’s proposal because he did not want U.S. troops to “to pledge to get involved in war if Montenegro has an altercation with anyone.”

“His foreign policy is something that would greatly endanger the United States, greatly overextend us,” Paul said.

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