One day after agreeing with Donald Trump’s desire to suspend aid to Pakistan due to the president’s belief that the country protects terrorists, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he hopes to introduce legislation in 2018 that will permanently eliminate the aid.
Paul was responding to a Tuesday night tweet from President Trump arguing that Pakistan does not want peace.
“It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue……peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” Trump said in a series of tweets.
“I think most Americans would support the President on this,” Paul told Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. Paul applauded the president’s position, arguing that most Americans agree with him and want to end the United States’ financial support of the country.
“There’s no reason in the world we should give them one penny when they put Christians in jail,” he said.
Paul also referenced Pakistan’s burning of the United States flag, adding that no country should receive aid from the U.S. if it insists on burning the American flag.
“We also shouldn’t give money to countries, ones that have mass protests burning our flag,” he added.
Paul concurred with President Trump’s Monday statements that criticized Pakistan for its dishonesty in dealing with terrorists, arguing that the country has not conducted itself in a manner that an ally of the U.S. should.
“At the very least, if you’re giving people money, they ought to be your friend and they ought to behave and they ought to be your ally,” he said. “There’s some people who question whether Pakistani intelligence actually cooperates with the Haqqani network that actually kills our soldiers across the border in Afghanistan.”
Paul suggested that the funds currently going to Pakistan in foreign aid could be used to improve the United States infrastructure, adding that the president was receptive to this idea when he discussed it with him on Tuesday.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump promised his administration would oversee a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to improve U.S. roads, bridges, and other public works.