President Donald Trump has the right to withhold aid to Ukraine—or any other country—where he believes there is corruption, said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
“I think weve gotten lost in this whole idea of quid pro quo,” Paul said on NBCs “Meet The Press” on Sunday.
“If youre not allowed to give aid to people who are corrupt, theres always contingencies on aid. Presidents since the beginning of time have resisted Congress and theres been this sort of back-and-forth jockeying over what is sent,” he said. “But also, presidents have withheld aid before for corruption. I think its a mistake to say, Oh, he withheld aid until he got what he wanted.'”
A House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Trump is focusing on whether or not the White House pressured Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. Democrats have alleged there was quid pro quo involved in Trumps call with Kyiv, which the president has denied.
“Well, if its corruption and he believes there to be corruption, he has every right to withhold aid,” Paul told the broadcaster on Sunday.
Multiple administration officials, according to transcripts of depositions released by House Democrats this week, have alleged that they think the White House tied military aid to Ukraine opening an investigation on corruption.
Paul said that he would make a different argument than what the White House is currently making.
“I would make the argument that every politician in Washington is trying to manipulate Ukraine to their purposes. Theyre all doing it,” he said on Sunday.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said that he believed that Trump was concerned about corruption in the country.