{{show_title_date || "Paul on Syria: 'The grand deception is that we're doing this for national security', 9/5/13, 1:24 PM ET"}}

Ron Paul defends speaking before ‘anti-Semites’

Updated

No, your eyes were not deceiving you, that was in fact former Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas on Thursday’s NOW with Alex Wagner. And what an appearance it was. Things quickly became heated as Alex pressed the former presidential candidate on a number of his controversial views and associations.

On Syria, Paul lauded what he called the “grand coalition” of the libertarian Republicans and the Democratic progressives that have joined together in opposition to the use of force.

“Everybody’s worried about the split in the Democrats and the split in the Republicans, I’m delighted with that split because it’s pushing people together who are on opposite ends of the spectrum,” Paul said.

He went on to criticize President Obama for consulting with Congress for purely political reasons, called the notion that a strike would be in the interests of national security a “grand deception,” and suggested the ultimate goal was a U.S. takeover of Iran.

And then things got really good.

Paul defended his upcoming address at an event held by the Fatima Center, a group branded “the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“I’m going to a conservative, Catholic group that is pro-peace, and wants to hear my foreign policy and my take on the economy,” he said.

Alex responded that the Fatima Center has warned of Satan’s plans against the church, “including the granting of full citizenship to the Jews.”

“Sounds to me like you have me on here to bash Catholics, why can’t we have discussions with people that have a difference?” Paul said.

A difference, indeed. You can (and should!) watch the segment in it’s entirety above.

Ron Paul defends speaking before 'anti-Semites'

Updated