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APsplainin | Ukraine's leader: Trump didn't use US military aid as lever
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is STRUGGLING to distance himself from U.S. politics -- and to contain the damage to Ukraine and his own reputation from a July phone conversation with Trump that UNLEASHED a congressional impeachment inquiry.

"It is impossible to put pressure on me," he told reporters Tuesday. "Many people try to influence me," he said, but "I am the president of independent Ukraine."

Zelenskiy suggested Tuesday that military aid was raised in other discussions, but didn't say when they took place.

The PENTAGON announced plans in JUNE to send $250 million in aid to Ukraine, but its delivery was delayed. A defense official said last week that the Trump administration held up the money to analyze the extent to which Ukraine was addressing long-standing U.S. concerns about corruption.

The funding was then released in September.

"It wasn't explained to me" why the money didn't come through earlier, Zelenskiy said.

Trump signs bipartisan budget and debt deal into law, 2 Aug
"Follow-up legislation would fill in the line-by-line details of agency budgets when the Senate returns in September."
White House: Trump supports stopgap funding bill, 23 Sep
"The Senate is scheduled to leave town for a two-week recess Friday [23 Sep]; Trump has to sign the bill by midnight Oct. 1 or a shutdown would begin."
House committee leaders demand budget documents related to Ukraine aid holdup, 27 Sep
"[T]hey are concerned OMB actions that withheld military aid to Ukraine "constitute unlawful impoundments in violation" of the landmark 1974 [?] budget law. [...] The letter says that, according to [news] reports, there was concern within the administration that if the money was not spent, the administration would 'run afoul' of the law. OMB eventually released the funds [Sep 2019]."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 11:17:34 PM EST

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