Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, says he’s the only politician in Washington who doesn’t want something in exchange for foreign aid to Ukraine—because he opposes foreign aid.
“I would make the argument that every politician in Washington, other than me, virtually, is trying to manipulate Ukraine to their purposes,” said Mr. Paul on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
That includes President Trump—and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
“[Sen. Bob] Menendez tried it. [Sen. Chris] Murphy tried it. Biden tried it. Trump’s tried it. They’re all doing it,” said Mr. Paul. “They are all trying to manipulate Ukraine to get some kind of investigation, either to end an investigation or start an investigation.”
His comments came with House Democrats preparing for the first open impeachment hearing on Wednesday into whether Mr. Trump sought to condition military aid to the Ukraine on an investigation into whether there was corruption involving the Bidens, including Hunter Biden.
“I think the American people think it’s unfair to treat Trump under one standard and Joe Biden under a different standard,” Mr. Paul said.
The White House has argued that there was no quid pro quo, but Mr. Paul called that the wrong approach, given that there are always conditions on foreign aid.
“Foreign aid, by law, can only go out to countries that are not corrupt,” Mr. Paul said. “So if you think that a country is acting in a corrupt way, a president can always withhold aid, until the corruption is fixed.”
If it were up to Mr. Paul, however, it wouldn’t be an issue.
“I wouldn’t give them the aid, because we don’t have the money,” Mr. Paul 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.”