GOP Rep Says U.S. Should Demand Quid Pro Quo When Giving Foreign Aid

Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks dismissed the House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry over President Donald Trump's Ukraine dealings, saying the U.S. should always demand returns when offering foreign aid.

Speaking earlier this week on an Athens/Huntsville, Alabama-based WVNN radio program, Brooks said the United States should be asking for something in return from countries who receive food or military aid. Brooks said there should "always be quid pro quo" between any two responsible governments, specifically that aid is used for purposes which mutually benefit U.S. security and foreign interests.

Brooks was among several Republican members of Congress who stormed the House Intelligence Committee hearings on impeachment Wednesday.

The president has repeatedly denied any quid pro quo dealings have ever occurred between himself and a foreign government.

"Let me be real clear: In every instance in which the United States government gives another country something, whether it be military supply or it be food, there better dadgum well be a quid pro quo," Brooks said on The Jeff Poor Show, using a Southern word which expresses annoyance.

"There better be an expectation, for example, that military equipment we give the Ukraine is going to be used to fight the Russians. Another quid pro quo is that we have an expectation that Ukraine is not going to give that military equipment to any of our enemies like al Qaeda, the Islamic State, or what have you," he continued, calling for a mutually beneficial transaction.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz were among the other lawmakers who burst into the secure room where a Defense Department official was being deposed in the impeachment inquiry. Only members of the Oversight and Foreign Affairs and House Intelligence committees were supposed to have been in attendance.

Scalise remarked that he was "proud" to have joined more than 30 members of Congress in trying to disrupt the House Democrats' "brazen attempt" to impeach the president. Talking to reporters outside the room Wednesday, Scalise complained "they're trying to impeach the president of the United States with a one-sided set of rules."

Speaking on the Alabama radio show, Brooks agreed with his fellow GOP lawmakers, saying there is no reason to give a foreign country aid of any kind if it's being used for corrupt purposes.

"So there is always a quid pro quo, or there should be, if we're going to engage in responsible government," Brooks added.

"That brings us to the question of whether Trump stepped across the line in requesting that Ukraine conduct an investigation into possible corruption. Absolutely Ukraine should investigate possible corruption. And we should not give any country aid that might be diverted because the entity that is getting that money is corrupt, and people are lining their pockets instead of using that money or assets of the United States of America for the purposes intended."

Despite Brooks' encouragement to seek a quid pro quo transaction with foreign governments, Trump has repeatedly denied the existence of any such dealings and has railed against House Democrats for a lack of transparency in their investigation.

"Does anybody think this is fair? Even though there was no quid pro quo, I'm sure they would like to try. Worse than the Dems!" Trump tweeted Wednesday. "'You can't have a quid pro quo with no quo,'" Trump added, quoting GOP Congressman John Ratcliffe's take on the Trump-Ukraine scandal.

Ardent Trump critics, including Mother Jones' David Corn, have argued that the president's Ukraine dealings amounted to more than just an illegal quid pro quo, going so far as to label it "extortion."

Writing on his Facebook page Friday, Brooks railed against "Socialist Democrats" for trying to "hide in the Capitol basement," instead of working with Republicans to "secure America's porous southern border or addressing the country's rapidly expanding debt problems.

mo brooks impeachment quid pro quo
Alabama GOP Rep. Mo Brooks said the U.S. "better dadgum well" ask for quid pro quo when giving aid to foreign countries. Screenshot: Mo Brooks | YouTube