Rand Paul blasts 'neocons' for backing 'military junta' in Egypt

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday blasted neoconservatives for supporting a "military junta" in Egypt and argued the United States should cut off foreign aid to the country.

The tweets come on the heels of a weekend op-ed Paul penned for The Washington Times, in which the senator — who has hinted at a 2016 presidential run — bemoaned that "American tax dollars flow no matter which despot rules" in the nation.

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More than 40 people died and 300 more were injured in a fight Monday between the Egyptian Army and pro-Muslim Brotherhood protestors backing ex-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military last week.

The White House has thus far avoided calling Morsi's ouster a military coup, which would require the U.S. to end $1.3 billion in military aid to the country.

In appearances over the weekend, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said there would be "plenty of time to assess the aid issue," and argued the U.S. government should "look at our national interest."

"What we should be doing right now is urging calmness, urging the military to move through this civilian process for as quickly as possible, to ask the Muslim Brotherhood to act with some degree of responsibility," Corker told Fox News. "Our role right now should be one of applying calm, trying to get our partners in the region to do the same thing."

But other lawmakers — including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — have said the administration should cut off aid.

In his op-ed, Paul warned that "persistent and perpetual intervention inevitably leads to American dollars flowing to despots."

"Hosni Mubarak brutally suppressed protest over three decades of martial law. Yet, we sent him some $60 billion, much of which was stolen by Mr. Mubarak and his family," Paul wrote.

"Today, we give the same billions and fighter jets to Mr. Mubarak’s successor, Mr. Morsi, who the protesters now see in the same light as Mr. Mubarak," he continued.

"But worse, due to our aid and support, Egyptians see Mr. Morsi and America as the same."


This post was updated at 5:04 p.m. to clarify Sen. Corker's comments.