Payback is a . . . Rand Paul. After John McCain, speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, accused Paul of “working for Vladimir Putin,” Paul had a crushing comeback on today’s Morning Joe.

Said Paul of McCain, “he makes a really, really strong case for term limits. I think maybe he’s past his prime. I think maybe he’s gotten a little bit unhinged.”

McCain’s nose was put out of joint when Paul had left the Senate floor after objecting to McCain’s call for Montenegro to be admitted to NATO. Whatever you think of it Paul’s objection, it was based on principle: a desire to have the US avoid additional military entanglements and obligations. The notion that the senator from Kentucky is a secret Kremlin agent is absurd.

JOHN MCCAIN: I note the senator from Kentucky leaving the floor without justification or any rationale for the action that he has just taken. That is really remarkable, that a senator, blocking a treaty that is supported by the overwhelming number, perhaps 98 at least of his colleagues would come to the floor and object and walk away. And walk away. The only conclusion you can draw when he walks away is he has no argument to be made. He has no justification for his objection to having a small nation be part of NATO that is under assault from the Russians. So, I repeat again, the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.

WILLIE GEIST: Senator, a little context around that.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Wow! Whuh!

WILLIE: The vote was around putting Montenegro into NATO. What’s your reaction to Senator McCain’s characterization of your objection?

RAND PAUL Well you know, I think he makes a really, really strong case for term limits. I think maybe he’s past his prime, I think maybe he’s gotten a little bit unhinged.

MIKA: Oh my God.