Effort to freeze Ukraine aid began immediately after call between Trump and Zelensky

Effort to freeze Ukraine aid began immediately after call between Trump and Zelensky

Roughly 90 minutes after U.S.President Donald Trump spoke to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Trump's political appointees at the White House's budget office were already ordering the Pentagon to freeze security funding for Ukraine, newly released government documents show.

"Based on guidance I have received and in light of the Administration's plan to review assistance to Ukraine, including the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, please hold off on any additional DoD obligations of these funds, pending direction from that process," Mike Duffey, the White House official in the Office of Management and Budget responsible for overseeing national security money and a Trump political appointee, wrote to select OMB and Pentagon officials on July 25.

Duffey's email suggests that he knew the hold could raise concerns. "Given the sensitive nature of the request, I appreciate your keeping that information closely held to those who need to know to execute direction," CNN cited him as saying.

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