Rand Paul vehemently denied recent claims that he has supported cuts in U.S. foreign aid to Israel in an appearance on Fox News Tuesday night.
“I’ve never targeted Israel for any aid cuts, never voted to cut any aid to Israel,” he said on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. “I spent the last two months trying to cut aid to Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.”
Slate’s David Weigel reported yesterday that, in 2011, Paul proposed a cessation of all foreign aid as part of an attempt to find a way to erase the entire budget deficit. In 2013, Paul said that Israel would be better off with less foreign aid in the long run, according to Weigel.
Paul said that he has had votes and budgets that would have reduced overall foreign aid, arguing these had been misinterpreted as an attempt to deny aid to Israel.
But, he explained, “My inclination and my propositions have always been to strengthen our ties to Israel.”
“But I’ve said repeatedly I think we ought to start with the countries burning our flag, the countries who hate us,” he said, adding that Israel is not one of those counties.
Regarding his past statements, he said, “All I’m asking is for some of these outlets that are unfriendly outlets that they would report the truth.”