Rand Paul on Trump Ukraine call: Aid to other countries 'should be contingent upon behavior'

Rand Paul on Trump Ukraine call: Aid to other countries 'should be contingent upon behavior'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulLindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden Marsha Blackburn shares what book she's reading during Trump Senate trial Sekulow indicates Trump should not attend impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) said on Thursday morning that U.S. aid to other countries "should be contingent upon behavior” as questions over whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE leveraged assistance to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE and his son drives an impeachment investigation in the House.

“I think it’s not incorrect or wrong,” Paul said on "CBS This Morning," referring to Trump’s request. “What I would say: that aid that we give to other countries should be contingent upon behavior and whether or not we should have Ukraine trying to eradicate corruption, yes.” 

“I think everybody has different ways that they would approach things,” he added when asked if he would have made the same request of Kiev if he were president. 

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A July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump lobbied Zelensky to investigate Biden, a chief political rival, and his son over unfounded corruption allegations is at the heart of the House’s impeachment efforts. 

Democrats have pointed to a decision days before the call to block millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine as evidence that Trump may have abused his power in leveraging the aid in an attempt to pressure Zelensky to agree to investigate the Bidens.

Trump has defended his request and the decision to block the aid, saying both were made to tackle corruption in Ukraine.

Zelensky said Thursday that he learned after the call that Trump had ordered the U.S. government to block the aid and that no mention of it came up during their conversation.

“We didn’t speak about this” during the July call, Zelenskiy said. “There was no blackmail.”

Democratic committee leaders have issued several subpoenas demanding records and testimony from the White House, Vice President Pence, the Office of Management and Budget, the Pentagon, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter Trump legal team launches impeachment defense MORE and more as part of the investigation. However, the White House has ordered several officials to rebuff the demands.