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Trump Starts 2018 by Threatening Pakistan’s Aid, Calling for “Change” in Iran

President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron arrive for a new year's party at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on December 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM
President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron arrive for a new year’s party at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on December 31, 2017. NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

President Donald Trump appeared to wake up angry and ready to find new enemies around the world after his fancy New Year’s party at Mar-a-Lago. For his first tweet of the new year, the commander in chief attacked Pakistan, ostensibly a U.S. ally, and threatened to withhold foreign aid to the country. “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,” Trump tweeted. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

Trump’s attack against Pakistan comes as his administration is currently considering whether it should give Pakistan the $255 million it withheld in August out of concern that the country wasn’t doing enough to combat terror groups, the New York Times reported last week. But exactly why the president thought commenting on Pakistan was the right move first thing in the new year remains far from clear.

After his message on Pakistan, Trump returned to a topic he has been tweeting about a lot in recent days: Iran. But his message seemed to intensify in 2018 as he directly called for “CHANGE,” noting that the country is “failing at every level.” The president continued to paint himself as an ally of the Iranian people saying they have “been repressed for many years” and are now “hungry for food & for freedom.”

Shortly afterward, Trump sent another tweet saying he’d be going back to Washington in the afternoon. “Much work to be done, but it will be a great New Year!” he wrote.

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