Rand Paul said on Friday that the Boston bombers came to America as refugees and were "coddled" and given "free stuff," before they "decided to attack us."
"The Boston bombers came here and as refugees, we coddled them, we gave them free stuff, we gave them free housing, and yet, they decided to attack us, so there’s a great risk," Paul told radio host Jeff Kuhner.
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brothers responsible for the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, did not enter the country through the refugee screening process. The Tsarnaev family entered on tourist visas and, through a process different from the refugee program, eventually were granted political asylum.
Paul introduced an amendment in the Senate last week to block welfare assistance for new refugees from certain countries, including Syria.
The interviewer asked Paul whether the refugee resettlement process was "as rigorous and stringent as the president and his supporters claim."
Paul answered that he does not think the process is sufficiently stringent, saying that he'd met with the Obama administration in recent days.
"A woman from the administration acted offended because I implied that any refugees could be terrorists," Paul said.
"It’s a mistake for the Obama administration to downplay the risk," he added. "And we’re gonna fight them. I’ve been fighting them all week in the Senate and I promise you this battle’s not over.”
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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