Corker: 'No doubt' Egypt aid will be suspended after military crackdown

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Sunday there is "no doubt" the U.S. will suspend its $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt after last week's military crackdown on protesters.

"The actions of the last week are going to no doubt cause us to suspend aid," Corker told ABC News. "And I think it's at the same time a time for us to recalibrate and look at what is our national interest.  There's no question that we overestimated what our leverage was, and we've underestimated the leverage that Saudi Arabia and UAE [United Arab Emirates] has had on this government."

Corker had previously resisted calls to suspend aid to Egypt as "terrible public policy" in a Senate floor speech last month. 

But the Tennessee lawmaker said his opinion had changed after bloody clashes between government forces and demonstrators. More than 600 people have died in the crackdown against supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi by the military.

Corker did not advocate permanently revoking economic assistance to Egypt, saying that he hoped the relationship would continue — with preconditions. He said Americans needed to ensure that national interests, including naval passage through the Suez Canal, was protected. 

"It’s time for us to recalibrate," Corker said. "Our relationship has been very, very static for the last 35 years. So, I don’t want to cut off our relations. And I do expect that we will continue to have aid forthcoming in a way that really directly focuses on our national interests.”

Noting that most of the aid allocated in this fiscal year was "already gone out the door," Corker said the Senate should weigh "tiers" of future gifts.

“I think aid will continue to flow after we have this debate this fall,” Corker said. “So, I think a suspension but a recalibration.”