Republican Sen. Rand Paul told Newsmax that a special inspector general is needed to monitor United States security assistance and weapons to Ukraine.
Appearing Wednesday on “The Record With Greta Van Susteren,” the Kentucky lawmaker argued that the practice of sending billions in unaccounted-for aid to Ukraine needed to come to an end.
Paul noted that during the latter years of the Afghanistan war, the U.S. created a special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction to monitor how money sent to the allied government was spent.
“I met him several times,” Paul said of John F. Sopko, the agency’s executive since 2012. His team included “100 economists and technicians who monitor the spending, and he’s found billions of dollars that was wasted and stolen in Afghanistan.”
The senator believes Sopko “would be perfect” to lead a similar probe of aid sent to Ukraine. However, he admitted that he lost his last attempt to get the IG established in May by holding up billions in aid.
“But I think we should have an inspector general monitoring the money. It’s the least we can do,” he continued. “I mean, Ukraine has a history of being one of the most corrupt nations in the world.”
The senator also said he takes issue with how official apportionments are broken down, with more than one-third of money being sent to the government for use other than the military.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. sent a total of $46.6 billion to Ukraine between Jan. 24, 2022, and July 31, 2023. It sent another $26.4 billion in financial and $3.9 billion in humanitarian aid.
Congress is scrambling to pass a stopgap spending bill that keeps the government open until late November or early December, giving lawmakers time to iron out a longer-term bill.
The Senate advanced its own proposal Tuesday, which includes $6.1 billion for Ukraine. Paul was one of 19 Republicans in the upper chamber who voted against it. The measure passed 77-19.
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Luca Cacciatore ✉
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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