Senator Rand Paul argued Sunday that President Trump is within his rights to to withhold aid from any country that he believes corruption is taking place in, and that charges of quid pro quo against the White House are misplaced.
Transcripts from the House impeachment inquiry have revealed that several administration officials believe Trump tied military aid for Ukraine to the nation opening investigations into Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
“I think we’ve gotten lost in this whole idea of quid pro quo,” Paul said on NBC’s “Meet The Press”.
“If you’re not allowed to give aid to people who are corrupt, there’s always contingencies on aid.” Paul continued.
“Even President Obama withheld aid, you know, he was supposed to give lethal aid. Congress said, ‘Give them $300 billion in lethal aid,’ and he sent them blankets.” Paul said.
“Presidents since the beginning of time have resisted Congress and there’s been this sort of back and forth jockeying over what is sent. But also, presidents have withheld aid before for corruption. I think it’s a mistake to say, ‘Oh, he withheld aid until he got what he wanted.'” The Senator added.
“If it’s corruption and he believes there to be corruption, he has every right to withhold aid,” Paul urged.
However, Paul, who will act as a juror in the Senate trial if Trump is impeached by the House, also argued that it is a “mistake” for the Trump administration to argue that the president didn’t engage in a quid pro quo.
“Every politician in Washington other than me, virtually, is trying to manipulate Ukraine to their purposes.” he said.
“Menendez tried it, Murphy tried it, Biden tried it, Trump’s tried it — they’re all doing it. They are all trying to manipulate Ukraine to get some kind of investigation, either end an investigation or start an investigation.” he declared.
Paul also noted that he opposes aid to Ukraine altogether.
“I wouldn’t give them the aid because we don’t have the money,” the senator said. “We have to actually borrow the money from China to send it to Ukraine, so I’m against the aid and I think it’s a mistake to do the aid so I wouldn’t have played any of these games.”
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has argued that the transcripts from the hearings actually exonerate Trump.
“These transcripts are actually … good for the president,” Grisham stated last week.