(The Hill) – Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) slammed “elites” in an interview broadcast Sunday for not knowing how to deal with the Trump administration’s decision to freeze government aid to Pakistan.
“It has so thoroughly shocked the elites that we actually are going to protect America, and defend America, and that we’re actually going to render judgement,” Gingrich told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview on AM 970 in New York.
“That is such a shocking moment for a lot of our elites that they don’t know how to deal with it.”
The former Speaker’s comments came days after the Trump administration announced that it would suspend nearly all security aid to Pakistan, potentially affecting as much as $1.3 billion in annual aid, according to The New York Times.
The State Department had earlier held up $225 million in military financing from Pakistan over the administration’s frustration with the state for not doing enough to combat Islamic terrorism.
Critics are concerned that the move by President Trump could mean the U.S. loses an ally in the region. The U.S. ratcheted up funding for Pakistan to combat Islamic militants following the 9/11 attacks.
The U.S. has sent over $33 billion in foreign aid to Pakistan since 2002, which Trump said has provided the U.S. “nothing” in return, saying the Pakistani government has failed to crack down on the Taliban and its affiliated groups within the country’s borders.
“If you kick us in the shin, we’re not going to pay you,” Gingrich said Sunday.