An official with the US Budget Office asked the Pentagon to stop military aid to Kiev 90 minutes after the controversial phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, according to an internal email.
The message is part of a series published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research.
Trump is accused of withholding $ 400 million in assistance to Ukraine to pressure Kiev and force her to investigate her potential political adversary in the 2020 elections Joe Biden.RELATED
"Based on the guidelines I have already received in the light of the administration plan to review assistance to Ukraine … please stop any additional obligations of the Department of Defense of these funds," wrote the official of the Administration Office and Budget Michael Duffy in an email to the Pentagon.
The message was sent at 11:04 am, one hour and 31 minutes after Trump ended the controversial conversation with his Ukrainian couple on July 25, according to a report of the call published by the White House.
"Given the delicate nature of the request, I thank you for keeping that information secret for those who need to know," Duffey added.
Republicans defended the measure in a report by House of Representatives staff on December 2, saying it was "not unusual" for foreign aid to be delayed, the Center for Public Integrity said.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson told ABC on Sunday that "emails don't shed any new light" on Trump's reason for withholding aid to Ukraine.
"The president was worried about whether US dollars from hard-earned taxpayers should be spent in a country where there are proven cases of corruption," he said.
Meanwhile, the main Senate Democratic Senator, Chuck Schumer, called emails "explosives" in a tweet on Sunday, denouncing Trump's refusal to allow certain White House officials to testify.
Moscow challenges Washington
The installation of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be completed despite US sanctions against companies associated with its construction, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“I am convinced that Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream will exist. TurkStream will be enabled in literally 2-3 weeks, ”he said during a program of the public network Parvy Kanal, which will be broadcast today, but from which Russian agencies leaked some fragments.
Referring specifically to Nord Stream 2, the Foreign Minister considered that "Europeans understand their economic interests" and are aware of "their long-term energy security."
“They were humiliated. But we have heard words, especially from Berlin, that show that our European partners retain their self-esteem, ”added Lavrov.
US President Donald Trump on Friday enacted a law to impose sanctions against companies associated with the construction of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream, considering that these infrastructures will increase Europeans' dependence on Russian gas and, thus, they will contribute to strengthen the influence of Moscow.
Berlin vigorously denounced these sanctions, as Germany is the main beneficiary of the Nord Stream 2, and the European Union, which criticized a "interference" by the US in European affairs.
North Korea assesses power
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with military commanders to discuss how to strengthen the regime's military capacity, official media announced when there are few days left before the ultimatum given to Washington on nuclear negotiations expires.