Less than two hours after President Trump had his infamous July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a White House budget official sent an email to the Pentagon, noting military aid to Ukraine was to be placed on hold, The Center for Public Integrity reports.
In the email, which Public Integrity obtained under court order, the official, Michael Duffey, seemed aware that the decision was a little odd. "Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute the direction," he wrote.
Here's the first copy of the email. "Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction." pic.twitter.com/5mFKbj2akC
— Zachary Fryer-Biggs (@ZachFB) December 21, 2019
Officials were worried about the hold from the start, Public Integrity reports.
When the aid was finally released, Duffey reportedly sounded relieved, writing that he was "glad to leave this behind us." Meanwhile, another Office of Management and Budget official, Edna Falk Curtain, told a senior defense official "I still have no insight on the rationale for the hold."
Public Integrity also reports that, aside from being concerned about jeopardizing nationals security interests, officials worried they were being asked to undertake an action in defiance of a law ordering congressionally-approved funds to be spent within a defined period. Read more at The Center for Public of Integrity.
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