Several U.S. senators are calling on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to launch a full-scale investigation to determine whether the Obama administration meddled in foreign elections by sending U.S. taxpayer money to “extreme and sometimes violent” leftists political groups.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, a group of Republican senators wrote a letter that disclosed alleged conversations with foreign diplomats claiming that the former administration’s State Department sent taxpayer funds to organizations supported by George Soros and other leftist activists groups in Macedonia, Albania, Latin America, and Africa.
The letter was reportedly authored by Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas), David Perdue (Ga.), and Bill Cassidy (La.) and offered evidence and “credible reports” suggesting political interference, of which the senators called “discouraging” and “highly problematic.”
“We have received credible reports that, over the past few years, the U.S. Mission there has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favoring left-leaning political groups over others,” they wrote.
Among the disclosures includes efforts by the Obama administration to send taxpayer funds to Israeli organizations that opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the country’s last election, says the report.
“Over the past few months, elected officials and political leaders of foreign nations have been coming to me with disappointing news and reports of U.S. activity in their respective countries,” Sen. Mike Lee said in a statement. “This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the U.S. government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles.”
“This sort of political favoritism from our missions around the world is unacceptable and endangers our bilateral relationships,” he added.
The lawmakers also state that the activity was pushed by USAID and groups associated with Soros’ Open Society Foundations to further a “progressive agenda” meant to “invigorate the political left” using U.S. taxpayer money, says the letter.
“Respected leaders from Albania have made similar claims of U.S. diplomats and Soros-backed organizations pushing for certain political outcomes in their country,” the senators wrote.
“Time and again, foreign leaders visiting Washington have expressed concerns to us about how American taxpayer funds are being used counterproductively in their respective countries,” the lawmakers disclosed, referring to efforts undertaken in Latin America and Africa.
The senators are demanding an investigation into why the administration used taxpayer funds to award left-leaning organizations and to review “all funds associated with promoting democracy and governance and review the programs, accounts, and multiplicity of U.S. entities involved in such activities.”
Furthermore, they are urging Tillerson 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 undermine our attempts to build beneficial international relationships.”
The senators are seeking to put an immediate stop to meddling in foreign countries and are hoping an investigation will shed light on how taxpayer money is being used to fund organizations intended to incite left-leaning political change abroad, according to the report.
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