Ukraine still has not received $20 million in US aid: report
Ukraine still has not received $20.2 million in U.S. military aid, even as House Democrats move forward with articles of impeachment against President Trump that are focused on withheld security assistance to Kyiv.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday, citing Pentagon and Senate aides, that a portion of the Defense Department’s $250 million share of $391 million in overall assistance remains in U.S. accounts.
Democrats allege that Trump used a White House meeting and the $391 million in U.S. aid to Kyiv as leverage to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open two investigations that would benefit him politically, including one into the son of his 2020 political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. They also accused him of obstructing Congress during their subsequent investigation of that episode.
Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Carla M. Gleason told the L.A. Times that the rest of the aid “will be implemented as quickly as possible in accordance with contracting procedures and applicable law.” The newspaper noted that the response was similar to statements from previous months.
A Defense Department spokesperson confirmed to The Hill in an email Friday that several million dollars had not yet been transferred to Ukraine.
A senior Trump administration official told The Hill on Friday that the unspent money has nothing to do with the previous White House hold on aid.
“Any questions about money that has remained unspent is something that [the Pentagon] will have to address. The ball’s in their court on that,” the official said.
The Times report came a day after a new legal memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget said the Ukraine aid was withheld to see if the country complied with U.S. policy and not as a political move.
A footnote in the memo said that during fiscal 2016, the last full fiscal year of the Obama administration, more than $43 million was “never spent.”
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.