American diplomats who had pushed for the Trump administration to restore security funding to Ukraine were advised by the White House to play down the release of the money when it was finally approved, documents show.
“Keep moving, people, nothing to see here …” Brad Freden, the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary overseeing issues in Europe and Eurasia, wrote in a Sept. 12 email obtained by The New York Times.
He said the National Security Council would not publicly announce that $141 million in State Department assistance was being restored after being held up in what the White House described as a normal review.
NEW from me: A series of internal State Department emails, obtained by the NYT, show diplomats’ frustration when aid to Ukraine was frozen — and then were told to downplay it when the money was released 5 weeks later. https://t.co/BZqryzaACm via @NYTimes
— Lara Jakes (@jakesNYT) October 9, 2019
Nothing to see here
“Without being provided explanation or justification about why the administration was delaying the aid, some career officials at the OMB became worried they didn’t have the legal authority to hold up the funds"
OMB then had political appointee hold the funds https://t.co/EAzmZIHHyC
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) October 10, 2019