(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he believes most Americans support President Trump in withholding money from Pakistan because it gives safe haven to the Taliban and other terrorists the U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan.
"We don't like to see our money going to countries that burn our flag," Paul told Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. "In Pakistan, they incarcerate Christians. There's a Christian, Asia Bibi, she's been on death row for five years. They put Dr. Shakil Afridi in jail for 33 years. He's the guy that helped us get bin Laden.
"They seemed to look the other way when bin Laden was there for over a decade. So, yes, I think Americans agree with the president. We ought to quit sending good money after bad."
In a New Year's Day tweet, Trump wrote: "The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!"
Sen. Paul told Cavuto he'd just gotten off the phone with President Trump:
"And what I discussed with the president is, I have an idea for using some of that money here at home. We have got bridges, we have got roads that need repair. Why don't we keep that money at home, and let's put it into rebuilding our infrastructure here at home."
Paul said he believes Trump would be receptive to the idea, which Paul plans to introduce in bill form next week.
"And so we will see. We will see what the administration says. But I think it's very, very popular with the people, but it's one of those things that if you walk around Washington and talk to people, nobody in Washington is for keeping any of that money at home.
"They would send more money than you can imagine everywhere in the world, but they never will consider keeping any of it at home. But President Trump has said repeatedly during his campaign, throughout his presidency, that we need to spend that money here at home. And I'm going to put legislation out there, and let's see if we can get Congress to vote on spending some of that money here," Paul said.
In another tweet on Tuesday, President Trump said Pakistan isn't the only country "that we pay billiions of dollars to for nothing." Trump mentioned the Palestinians, saying they are "no longer willing to make peace," so "why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" the president asked.
Cavuto asked Paul if anticipates a "wholesale" reduction in foreign aid in general, with Pakistan being the tipping point.
"Yes, I think, at the very least, if you are giving people money, they ought to be your friend and they ought to behave and they ought to be your ally," Paul responded.
"There's some people who question whether Pakistani intelligence actually cooperates with the Haqqani Network that actually kills our soldiers across the border in Afghanistan.
"So, yes, I think there ought to be conditions to it. We also shouldn't give money to countries, one, that have mass protests, burning our flag, and where the government itself condones putting Christians in jail for gossip. Basically, someone said that this woman said something bad about Islam. And she denies it. And she happens to be a Christian. And they have had her in jail now for eight years. Her name is Asia Bibi.
"There's no reason in the world we should give them a penny when they put Christians in jail or when they put people in jail that helped to us get bin Laden. That shows to me to -- shows me -- makes me think that they really don't care about being our ally."