Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his relationship with fellow Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is fine despite Paul's staunch opposition to an extension of the Patriot Act.
"Oh it's good," McConnell said when asked about his relationship with Paul on the Joe Elliot Show Monday.
Paul opposed any extension of the Patriot Act and made particular emphasis on the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data — opposition that included an awkward moment on the Senate floor, in which McConnell tried repeatedly to offer short-term extensions of the law to which Paul objected each time. The Senate agreed to a modified reauthorization of the Patriot Act that has small changes to intelligence agencies' control over the bulk collection of data. McConnell supported an extension of the Patriot Act with no changes.
"Look, we just have a difference of opinion on this issue," McConnell said. "This was something that him and I have diametrically opposed views on. Most things we agree on. So I think it's a mistake to personalize differences of opinions on issues. We have no problems personally."
The majority leader added earlier in the interview "no real harm was done" by the Patriot Act briefly expiring.
"Look, any senator can keep us from going forward," the majority leader said when asked about Paul. "We do most of what we do on unanimous consent. No harm was done. The law expired for a day and a half and the new law replaced it. So no real harm was done."
Paul was an strong supporter of McConnell's re-election campaign last year and helped him beat back a challenge from conservative Matt Bevin during the primary campaign. McConnell has since said he's supporting Paul's presidential campaign.
Here's the audio:
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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