Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had a scathing response to a resolution by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) rebuking President Donald Trump’s efforts to withdraw U.S. military presence from Syria and Afghanistan.
“The United States faces continuing threats from terrorist groups operating in Syria and Afghanistan and … the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from either country could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security,” the McConnell resolution states.
Rand Paul clapped back in an interview with Bill Hemmer on Fox News, making clear that he is more in agreement with the President than his senior Senator from Kentucky.
“To call it a precipitous withdrawal after 17 years is ludicrous,” Paul said. “We need to learn as a country how to declare victory. We got [Osama] bin Laden, we disrupted the people that attacked us, I was all for that – I think we need to continue to have surveillance of the region, but I don’t think we need to have soldiers there forever.”
“I’m with President Trump in the sense that we’re spending $51 billion a year in Afghanistan,” he continued. “Let’s spend some of that money at home – we’d have plenty of money for a wall if we weren’t building roads, bridges and everything else, gas stations, hotels … in Afghanistan.”
The resolution passed by a 68-23 margin on Thursday. 46 Republicans and 22 Democrats voted in favor, while 3 Republicans and 20 Democrats voted against. The Republicans voting against were Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Lee (R-UT). Also voting against were current and potential Democrat presidential contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). Paul himself was not present for the vote due to a judicial hearing on the same day regarding his civil litigation against his assailant Rene Boucher.