The previous post details how the US Pentagon had been working for several months with Ukrainian officials to figure out ways for them to take concrete steps to reduce corruption within its borders as a fledgling democracy, before the US Congress would approve a minimum of $250 million dollars in military aid to be delivered to Ukraine to assist its resistance towards Russia’s aggressive tactics.
In May 2019, the Pentagon had certified that “the government of Ukraine has taken substantial actions to make defense institutional reforms for the purposes of decreasing corruption [and] increasing accountability, and sustaining improvements of combat capability enabled by U.S. assistance…now that this defense institutional reform has occurred,” the Defense Department can provide support to Ukraine…Implementation of this further support will begin no sooner than 15 days following this notification.”
This Pentagon certification was required by law for the release of $250 million in security assistance for Ukraine. That aid was blocked by the White House from May until Sept. 11 when the funds were finally released, after the House’s Intel Committee’s Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff had requested in a 9/10/2019 letter, a copy of the whistle-blower’s complaint, related to this issue. The monies had to be spent before the end of the fiscal year, on Sept. 30.
As per NPR, Read the letter here.
But as usual, the republican President Donald Trump preferred to be influenced and persuaded by Russian and Hungarian authoritarian leaders who’ve discounted what the US Pentagon had certified; who argued that Ukraine was still steeped in corruption and that there are elements within Ukraine who had acted to meddle in the 2016 elections, in support of his opponent. It was this thinking that contributed to President Trump’s negative attitude towards Ukraine that became apparent in his controversial July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The GOP lawmakers in the US Congress can’t realistically separate out the Ukraine-Trump scandal from his recent betrayal of the Kurds in NE Syria, who’ve been our US military best allies in its fight against ISIS. In Ukraine’s case, it was the Russian President Putin and the Hungarian PM Orban who tagged teamed him to sour him against Ukraine. In the US national security disaster in Syria, it was the Russian President Putin and the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who successfully tagged teamed him to convince him to pull US troops out of Syria. It can be said that those Congressional GOP members who’ve been turning a blind eye to the actions by President Trump which favor Russian interests have compromised US national security.
Here is the rest of the story…
On October 21, 2019, Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe, John Hudson and Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Putin and Hungary’s Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine:”
“The role played by Putin and Orban, a hard-right leader who has often allied himself with the Kremlin’s positions, was described in closed-door testimony last week by George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, before House impeachment investigators, U.S. officials said.”
American policy has for years been “built around containing malign Russian influence” in Eastern Europe, a U.S. official said. Trump’s apparent susceptibility to the arguments he hears from Putin and Orban are “an example of the president himself under malign influence — being steered by it.”
Link to entire article: Putin and Hungary’s Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine