"We consider them to be destabilizing the region and also targeting USA personnel", Nauert said during a news briefing, according to Reuters.
Nauert made clear the $255 million was still blocked, and the Pentagon said the new action targets payments of so-called Coalition Support Funds that the USA pays to Pakistan to reimburse it for its counterterrorism operations.
It must be noted that Trump's tweet is in the context of Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Haqqani network and Taliban that threaten U.S. forces and the civilian government in Afghanistan.
The vagueness of the declaration suggests it is created to back up the President's New Year's Day tweet accusing Pakistan of playing U.S. leaders for "fools".
Having an Afghan neighbor as an ally in the global war on terrorism was key to the US ousting the terror groups that had set up training camps in Afghanistan, and Pakistan quickly became the third-largest recipient of United States military and economic support.
"The United States stands ready to work with Pakistan in combating all terrorists, without distinction", Nauert said. It is time for the U.S. to accept its fault lines and fight its own war, or else accept its defeat gracefully, patch up with the Taliban and find a political solution instead of scapegoating Pakistan, and beat a hasty retreat from the quagmire it has got stuck. The impact isn't clear because few details have been released on how the Pakistani military has been using the funds.
"Pakistan is one of the most duplicitous governments I've had any involvement with", Senator Bob Corker, Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.
Islamabad has repeatedly denied the accusations, insisting it has eradicated safe havens and accusing the United States of ignoring the thousands who have been killed on Pakistani soil and the billions spent fighting extremists.
The rhetoric has raised hackles in Islamabad and fears the row could undermine Pakistan's support for USA operations in Afghanistan.
The financial aid started flowing soon after the 9/11 attacks on NY and Washington, following 11 years of sanctions over Pakistan's nuclear weapons program.
A glance at USA budget figures suggest the amounts frozen could exceed $1 billion.
Earlier, a State Department spokeswoman said the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the groups.
It said that Pakistan believed that its cooperation with United States in fighting terrorism directly served U.S. national security interests as well as the larger interests of the worldwide community.
"However, Congress and the public are concerned that Pakistan is not producing a measurable result to correlate with USA investment", the report said. Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador, an embassy spokesman said January 2, in a rare public rebuke after Donald Trump lashed out at Islamabad with threats to cut aid over "lies" about militancy.
"The timing and nature of the Trump administration's decision are worrisome".
The $255 million now being withheld is annual military aid that the United States still provides directly to Pakistan in return for fighting terrorism. Officials say the country has made enormous sacrifices to support the USA war on terror. It accused the USA of scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure to bring peace to Afghanistan.
Pakistan has long rejected accusations that it fails to tackle the militants battling the Kabul government and US -led foreign forces in Afghanistan, from sanctuaries on its side of the border. For the success of covert operations launched by RAW-NDS combine backed by CIA, MI-6, Mossad and BND from Afghan and Iran soils in FATA and Baluchistan from 2003 onwards, Pakistan was subjected to a willful propaganda campaign to demonize and discredit it by painting it as the most risky country of the world.