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In response of widespread internet mockery of him running away from DREAMers this week, Sen. Rand Paul “clarified” to Fox News that he was giving an interview, rather than (as it appeared) getting the hell out of dodge. Here’s how he explained his hasty departure:
But about five minutes before that, or two minutes before that, the video doesn’t show that another reporter came up and said, will you do an interview. And I said, I need to take a couple more bites and we’ll do an interview. And then I was told we had to leave and I had to do the interview, so actually, I stood 10 feet from the people who were doing sort of a kamikaze interview, and I stood 10 feet from them and did another interview. You know me. I’ve always done an interview on immigration. I’m very open to discussing that I think there should be some kind of immigration reform.
However, in this video — which is another viewpoint of the clip of Erika Andiola and Steve King that went viral this week — we can see Paul’s communications staffer clearly eyeballing Erika and Cesar Vargas as they approach Steve King. Later, when Erika and Cesar approach and begin talking, he makes a “let’s get out of here” gesture with his head. Paul abruptly gets up to leave. There’s no reporter in sight. View the screenshots below: