Sen. Paul Explains Why He’s Holding Up the $40B Ukraine Package
By Clay Travis and Buck Sexton
May 13, 2022
CLAY: We are joined now by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky who is in the news right now. We’re gonna ask him a little bit about covid as well. But in the news right now because, Senator, and you can explain it to the audience, you are simply asking for a inspector general to be able to review how we are spending $40 billion in aid for Ukraine. That seems like an eminently reasonable request. What in the world is going on that is being, right now, refused to add that to the bill?
SEN. PAUL: Yeah, I think it’s fiscally irresponsible to spend $40 billion with insufficient oversight. The Afghan war, you know, went on for 20 years — started out slow and went on for 20 years — but we do have a special inspector general who’s followed this. He’s written entire books on the waste. And much of it has really at least slowed down the thieves. I mean, there are thieves everywhere.
When government’s handing out money, the thieves line up as well. And if you want to slow them down, you have to let them know there’s going to be an inspector that looks at every dollar that’s spent. In Afghanistan, we would give like $90 million to build a hotel, a luxury hotel. Why we’re doing that in the first place is one question. But then they would build a half of a hotel or a third of the hotel and the contractor would run off with the money.
We found out about that because of the special inspector in general for Afghanistan. And so, we advised that since this guy has a great track record and he’s still got money in his budget, why don’t we immediately turn it over to them? They’re very, very capable. They’re already up and running. We don’t have to wait a year for the president to appoint somebody. We just put it into the bailiwick of an already existing inspector general. And, you know, apparently Republicans and Democrats are so eager to send our money to a foreign country, they don’t want to have any sufficient oversight.
CLAY: I just find it impossible to believe that this would be remotely controversial, given what we just saw — and you know it better than anybody, Senator — the wasted money in PPP dollars, I mean, billions of dollars that we wasted trying to run that program. Why would we not use an existing infrastructure program that we already have to monitor our own government spending and apply it to Ukraine as well? What are they try…? Why are they afraid of this?
SEN. PAUL: They’re always more eager to send the money out than they are to be responsible with it. Look, this is how we got a $30 trillion, you know, debt. This isn’t… Republicans and Democrats don’t have a good track record on spending your money. But this is a government that spent 1.5 million to study of taking a selfie of yourself while smiling, if that would make you happy if you looked at that selfie later on in the day. Government is chock-full of waste.
CLAY: No doubt. I obviously totally understand what you’re doing here and support it and a lot of our listeners do as well. You’re being criticized, which is the normal routine now. Anytime you don’t submit to everything that Ukraine wants, you are “pro-Russia.” How would you respond to the argument out there that is being made by some of the left-wing loons that the reason you’re doing this is because you’re being a stooge for Vladimir Putin or for Russia?
SEN. PAUL: You know, I took an oath of office. My oath of allegiance is to the United States and to the U.S. Constitution. No other nation, no matter how sympathetic we are — I’m sympathetic to Ukraine. I want Putin to be defeated. I think what he did is an awful aggression. But my oath of office is to my country. If we bankrupt our country, who’s left to help anyone? So I’m for selling arms to Ukraine; I’m for sharing things with Ukraine.
But we gave ’em $14 billion two weeks ago. And the thing is is once we get to 60 billion, it will be more or about the same that Russia spends in an entire year. Plus, what Europe is giving them! So, you know, it’s sort of the same argument that President Trump made. Everybody needs to step up, but the NATO allies need to step up, and we don’t need to be the sugar daddy and the policeman of the world that we have to do everything.
We can help, sure. But $40 billion will now make it in the space of two months we’ll have given almost as much as Russia spends in a year, and we should look at this. In Afghanistan, you realize we were giving them I think it was $250 million every three months in $100 bills! I’m not making this up: Pallets of $100 bills were airlifted into Afghanistan every three months for 20 years!
So, yes, the American government has a terrible history, and the guy that oversaw the waste and told us about the waste that happened in Afghanistan, this special inspector, is perfectly poised to do it. And they don’t want him in particular because they know (chuckling) he will ferret out the waste and he will point out the abuse.
CLAY: We’re talking to Senator Rand Paul. You’re also a doctor. And a lot of people, certainly we’ve done it on this show, are pointing out the incongruity here, Senator, of sending $40 billion to Ukraine while simultaneously many moms and dads are unable to find baby formula on the shelves right now. And in fact Jen Psaki said, hey, what would you tell… I’m sure you saw this clip. She was asked, what would you have parents do who can’t find baby formula? She said, “I’d have ’em call their doctors.” What in the world is going on here that we can spend $40 billion on Ukraine but we can’t get baby formula on our shelves in this country?
SEN. PAUL: Yeah, it’s misplaced priorities. You know, we spend about six million on cancer research and we’re spending 40 billion on this. So the thing is money should never be given in one huge lump sum without oversight. It’s a bad idea. But we don’t have the money. We will borrow this money from China to send it to Ukraine. Incidents like we have a big vat of money, a big rainy day account we say, “Well, we’ve done very well this year, why don’t we send it to help somebody else fate to democracy.”
This is equivalent that if you want to help someone in your community and you don’t have any money, you say, “You know what? I’ll go down to the bank and I’ll borrow a thousand dollars and I’m gonna give it to the Salvation Army.” Well, it might sound noble, but it isn’t noble to give people money you don’t have. We’re a trillion dollars short every year, and then they started going crazy on the covid bailout, and we added $6 trillion more in the last two years.
We have double-digit inflation, the lockdown has still so completely screwed up the economy we don’t have baby formula. So, yes, I think there are priorities. We can be helpful in the world, but we are not the sole repository of all the money in the world and we shouldn’t shovel it out so fast without oversight that it actually hurts our country. Like I said, I’m sympathetic to Ukraine, but my allegiance is to my country. I have to make sure that the United States is doing okay before we give away the house or give away the farm.
CLAY: Our good friend Flip-Flop Fauci came out, Senator, and said, “The pandemic’s over,” and then now he’s some walked that back and says, “Oh, no, the pandemic’s not over at all,” and the Biden White House is now saying we may have a hundred million new covid cases in the fall and the winter. Based on your experience as a doctor, how would you assess the way that covid is going right now, and what should the government be doing, if anything, as we get ready for the summer?
SEN. PAUL: The first thing that everybody needs to know is if you test a thousand people randomly anywhere in America, you’ll find that 97% or more have immunity. They either got the immunity from the vaccine or they got the immunity from having the disease or both. Seventy-five percent of kids under 11 — by the fall it’s gonna be 100% of all kids under 11 — will have had this, for better or worse. That’s with vaccine, without vaccine, people are still gonna get it.
But the good news is almost everybody in our country has some form of immunity so we’re gonna be okay with this no matter what happens. Nobody can predict the exact case count. But if you want to know whether or not to pay attention to Dr. Fauci, I’ll tell you this. When the court, when the U.S. federal court struck down the mandate on wearing masks on planes, Dr. Fauci said:
How dare the courts, how dare the Constitution, how dare anybody that believes in individual freedom say anything about his mandates because, by golly, he is science, and how dare the court! That is an arrogance we have never seen in an elected official, much less a bureaucrat. He believes that the courts and their interpretation of the Constitution have nothing to do and should have no oversight on his dictates. That is about the most un-American policy and proposal and attitude I’ve ever heard of.
CLAY: I appreciate you bringing up the airplanes as well there because the last time we talked to you, you were having a press conference at the Nashville airport in favor of the removal of mask mandates. Since that has happened, no great surprise to you or me or many of our listeners, but I do think it’s worth listening: We haven’t seen a massive airline shortage based on sickness. There haven’t been hardly any cancellations. Overall complaints and issues between passengers and people working on those planes have plummeted. How do we keep the mask mandate from being returned, going forward?
SEN. PAUL: It’s night and day. When you travel in the airport, people are alive again, people are friendly!
SEN. PAUL: TSA agents are patting me on the back and thanking me. The flight attendants are coming up and wanting their pictures taken, saying thank you so much for getting rid of these ridiculous things. So we have to let people know the numbers. But I can tell you this. If the Democrats want to get wiped out in November, look at the unofficial poll in the airport.
Ninety-seven percent of the people disagree with Fauci are discounting his advice and their assessment of the risk is they don’t need the mask. Ninety-seven percent of the people! If the Democrats want to campaign on mandates, on Fauci bringing the mandates back, on the courts bringing it back, they are completely insane and they are gonna be wiped out in the fall because 97% of travelers don’t want to wear the mask.
CLAY: Did you one the 80-to-one long shot bid on the Kentucky Derby this past weekend? Did you have any success there?
SEN. PAUL: I only wish. I saw that horse. That horse would not get in the gate; he was jumping all over the place. I should have bet on that horse. And then you see wins the race and he’s still fighting with the other horses. Talk about moxie!
SEN. PAUL: Man, that horse had some moxie. No, I think that the horse that was trained in Bowling Green where I live, and it got second it was the favorite and I did of course win place and show so I took away less than I put in, but we usually consider that sort of a Pyrrhic victory.
CLAY: No doubt. By the way, Bowling Green is a great town in Kentucky for people that haven’t been there before. It’s also Friday the 13th — and, if I’m not mistaken, Halloween, the original the Halloween was set in Bowling Green, Kentucky, wasn’t it?
SEN. PAUL: You know, I’m not positive of that. There is a connection somehow to the producer, but I’m not sure if it was actually filmed there. But I can tell you for certain we do make the Corvette. We are home of the Corvette.
CLAY: (laughing) That’s a great museum there as well. Appreciate the time, Senator. Have a fantastic weekend and appreciate all the fights you’re fighting for us.
SEN. PAUL: Thanks, guys.
CLAY: That is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. If the United States government is going to spend $40 billion, let’s just make sure that it’s not being wasted. Let’s have an inspector general review the $40 billion in expenditures. We know how much money… You heard him talking about how much money we wasted in Afghanistan, until we got an inspector general. You know how much money that we wasted with the PPP.
As much as 10% of the $800 billion handed out was stolen. We know that government spends money inefficiently. How in the world is it remotely controversial to want an inspector general reviewing the money that we are spending to make certain that that money is not going and being stolen by kleptocrats in Ukraine where we already know there is a massive issue associated with thievery? This seems like the very essence of what a public servant should do:” Make sure that the money we’re spending, at a bare minimum, actually goes to what we’re trying to spend it on. It’s your tax dollars, my tax dollars, our tax dollars. Thanks to Rand Paul.
This story originally appeared in Clay Travis and Buck Sexton