Former Trump staffer, Cong. candidate: US foreign aid should be more transparent

Matt Mowers is running in a crowded Republican primary for New Hampshire’s first Congressional district, which includes ten candidates, according to Ballotpedia.

A bird flies by the United States Capitol building in Washington, US, March 17, 2022.   (photo credit: REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo)
A bird flies by the United States Capitol building in Washington, US, March 17, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Emily Elconin/File Photo)

WASHINGTON – Matt Mowers served as a senior White House adviser at the State Department in former US president Donald Trump’s administration, advising on counterterrorism and energy issues. Now, he is running for Congress and says he hopes to promote transparency in the US foreign aid system, “to make sure that funds go to allies and not to adversaries.”

Mowers is running in a crowded Republican primary for New Hampshire’s first Congressional district, which includes ten candidates, according to Ballotpedia. The primaries will take place on September 8 and the winner is expected to face the incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas.

Mowers, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, faced Pappas in the 2020 general election and received the support of the Republican Jewish Coalition PAC , but lost. Both the Cook Political Report and the Sabatho’s Crystal Ball considers the district as a toss-up this election cycle.

“I got in the race for a number of reasons, but one was to make sure that America continues to lead on the world stage”

Matt Mowers 

“I got in the race for a number of reasons, but one was to make sure that America continues to lead on the world stage,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “We have now seen what Russia is doing in Ukraine, and what China is threatening to do to Taiwan.”

“America is in hiding, that’s the way I feel we have been under Joe Biden, and enemies respond,” Mowers continued. “We need strong American leadership to work in concert with our allies, including Israel. And that’s something I did at the State Department under President Trump.”

A worker hangs a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy, in the area of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, May 7, 2018.  (credit: REUTERS)A worker hangs a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy, in the area of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, May 7, 2018. (credit: REUTERS)

“I was there when the embassy was moved to Jerusalem,” he remembered. “In fact, one of the first things I did at the State Department was to order a freeze on all money going to the PLO and a number of other entities in both Gaza and West Bank, because we knew that a lot of the money was going to fund enemies of Israel. And so we actually stopped all that, a lot of that money from going out back, as much as we could.”

“I’m convinced that a lot of lives were saved as a result of making sure that funding didn’t go through to fund future terror activity In the Mideast,” he said.

What would you like to promote if elected?

“I’m confident that, given my background, I’ll be in a place to serve in a national security role, whether it’s in [the] armed services or foreign affairs [committees], where I can really speak out on these issues vocally and make sure that the funding that’s being put in place right now, whether it’s by the State Department or USAID, or money that’s going off to the UN, is being accountable. I’m going to make sure that we have transparency and accountability and make sure that funding is going to support our allies, not our adversaries.”

“Unfortunately, under the Obama administration and now under the Biden administration, you've been seeing a loosening of that, where money is beginning to go towards organizations and countries that don't support our goals"

Matt Mowers 

“Unfortunately, under the Obama administration and now under the Biden administration, you’ve been seeing a loosening of that, where money is beginning to go towards organizations and countries that don’t support our goals,” Mowers said.

“We need to draw a harder line on that and make sure that we are not funding our adversaries, and that’s something that members of Congress have a great deal of say in.”

Speaking about the need to expand the Abraham Accords, he said that the 2020 agreement sets the framework to have new relations between different countries in the region. “I would love to see continued stronger working relations with the Saudis,” he said. 

“I think, hopefully at some point bringing the Qataris and others in there, so you do have a united Middle East to work with Israel to counter the balance of power with Iran. That’s something that I think all the nations can work towards together. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the Qataris or the Emiratis or the Saudis, they all have a unique interest in doing so.”