Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he agreed with President Donald Trump’s earlier tweet on Monday regarding U.S. aid to Pakistan.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump tweeted.
In response, Paul agreed that spending in Pakistan must be cut, arguing that the current policy has only served to further the war in Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been fighting to end aid to Pakistan for years and will again lead the charge in the Senate. Let’s make this happen @realDonaldTrump,” Paul tweeted, including a link to a Fox News story on his efforts to cut off aid to Pakistan back in 2012.
“We should not be giving foreign aid to any country that is not clearly our ally. This must end, and this week I will renew my push for a vote on this issue, including holding up Senate business to accomplish this goal,” Paul wrote in 2012.
Trump’s tweet on Monday followed a report from last week that said the president is considering eliminating $225 million in aid to Pakistan over his frustration with the country’s methods of dealing with terror networks.
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was discovered in 2011 to be living inside of a secure compound in Pakistan. He was killed by U.S. forces after former President Obama launched a raid on the compound without notifying Pakistan.
On Monday, Pakistan’s defense minister slammed Trump, accusing the United States. of giving Pakistan “nothing but invective and mistrust” over the last fifteen years.
“[Pakistan] as anti-terror ally has given free to US: land & air communication, military bases & intel cooperation that decimated Al-Qaeda over last 16yrs, but they have given us nothing but invective & mistrust,” Khurram Dastgir-Khan said on Twitter.
“They overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder Pakistanis,” he added.
Sen. Paul has long proposed cutting and in some cases eliminating foreign aid, criticizing the United States’ costly commitment to nation building.
In 2017, Paul wrote an op-ed for The Hill in which he proposed paying for emergency aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey with cuts to foreign aid spending.
“One of the things I and many other Americans liked about candidate Donald Trump was his America First policy,” Paul wrote. “He talked often about building here instead of in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We send tens of billions overseas every year in aid, and we have spent trillions fighting and nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Paul encouraged Trump to keep with his “America First” foreign policy, cutting foreign aid to countries like Pakistan to help Americans recover from disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
“This is common sense, and it is what every American family has to do every day – make choices and set priorities,” Paul said.