- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The White House said Tuesday that President Trump is cutting U.S. aid to Cambodia in response to recent actions undermining democracy in the southeast Asian nation, including a Senate election called a “sham” by human-rights advocates.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that over the past 25 years, the U.S. has contributed more than $1 billion to help Cambodia.

“Recent setbacks to democracy in Cambodia, however, caused us deep concern, including Senate elections on February 25 that failed to represent the genuine will of the Cambodian people,” she said in a statement.

After the Senate elections, in which the ruling Cambodian People’s Party said it won 58 of 62 Senate seats, Mrs. Sanders said the Trump administration began a review of its foreign aid “to ensure that American taxpayer funds are not being used to support anti-democratic behavior.”

“Based on this review, the United States government will suspend or curtail several Treasury, USAID, and American military assistance programs intended to support the general Department of Taxation, the capacity of local government authorities, and the Cambodian military, each of which has been linked to these setbacks,” she said. The White House did not specify how much aid is being cut.

Mrs. Sanders said the U.S. “will continue many projects in support of the Cambodian people, including those in health, agriculture, mine clearance, civil society promotion, and other crucial areas.”

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