Paul on Trump’s Pakistan tweet: ‘I couldn’t agree more’
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) praised President Trump on Monday for his tweet calling for an end to aid to Pakistan and offered to work with him on the issue.
“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.
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 https://t.co/v4KrOrWOyS https://t.co/JNNChCfVqP
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 1, 2018
Trump on Monday morning accused Pakistan of “15 years” of “lies and deceit” and ripped past U.S. administrations for working with its government.
“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,” he tweeted.
“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”
Trump’s tweet followed a New York Times report late last week that said the administration is considering withholding $225 million in aid to Pakistan over frustration with its handling of terror networks — a long-standing source of tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan.
In 2011, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was discovered to be living secretly at a fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed by U.S. forces. Former President Obama launched the raid on bin Laden’s compound without notifying Pakistan.
Pakistan’s defense minister fired back at Trump on Monday, accusing the U.S. of giving Pakistan “nothing but invective and mistrust” over the last decade and a half.
“[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.
Paul has long championed reducing foreign aid as a senator. In a September op-ed in The Hill, he proposed paying for emergency aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey with cuts to foreign aid spending; in a nod to Trump, he called his plan the “America First” solution.