Six Republican senators penned a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking him to investigate whether George Soros-funded groups used taxpayer dollars abroad to pick political winners and losers, writes Daily Mail.
The letter, signed by Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Jim Inhofe, Thom Tillis, David Perdue and Bill Cassidy, suggested that money flowing through USAID and into the hands of Soros’ Open Society Foundations helped leftist political leaders and causes overseas.
Lee, a Republican from Utah, said he and his fellow senators have been approached by foreign officials who say American diplomats are playing political favorites and USAID funds are supporting ‘extreme and sometimes violent political activists,’ while ‘working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles.’
‘This sort of political favoritism from our missions around the world is unacceptable,’ Lee said in a statement, according to Fox News, which reported on the senators’ letter earlier today.
The senators used two countries, Macedonia and Albania, as examples in the correspondence, dated yesterday.
In Macedonia, USAID funding went toward Soros’ Open Society Foundations, which allowed the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia to ‘push a progressive agenda and invigorate the political left.’
‘Our foreign aid should only be used to promote a political agenda if it is in the security or economic interests of our country to do so, and even at that, we must be cautious and respectful in such an endeavor,’ the letter read.
‘We should be especially wary of promoting policies that remain controversial even in our own country and that have the potential to harm our relationship with the citizens of the recipient countries,’ it continued.
In Albania, senators made a similar claim, suggesting that Foundation Open Society – Albania, with funding through USAID, was behind a judicial reform plan that would ‘give the Prime Minister and left-of-center government full control over judicial power.’
Respected Albanian leaders, the senators said, approached them claiming ‘U.S. diplomats and Soros-backed organizations’ have joined forces to push for certain political outcomes.
‘We find these reports discouraging and, if true, highly problematic,’ the senators said, urging Tillerson to start an investigation.
The start of a new administration, the senators argued, is a good time to get an accounting of where State Department taxpayer dollars are going.
‘We must take this critical moment –at the start of a new administration – to review how all our tax dollars are being utilized in order to halt activities that are fomenting political unrest, disrespecting national sovereignty and civil society, and ultimately undermining our attempts to build beneficial international relationships,’ the letter said.