New testimony from Catherine Croft, a former White House official, shows that Donald Trump and Mick Mulvaney were essentially letting Russia run America’s policy toward Ukraine during the first year Trump was in office.
As The Daily Beast reported on Monday, citing Croft’s testimony, “Under Mick Mulvaney’s leadership, the Office of Management and Budget temporarily put a hold on the delivery of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in 2017 because of concerns their arrival would upset Russia.”
Via key Catherine Croft excepts: OMB placed a separate, earlier hold on Javelin missiles because Mick Mulvaney was concerned that “Russia would react negatively to the provision of Javelins to Ukraine,” despite the fact that “all of the other policy agencies were in support.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 11, 2019
The Daily Beast notes that Croft called the move “highly unusual.”
More from the report:
Croft told congressional impeachment investigators that after the Trump administration greenlit the delivery of Javelin missiles to Ukraine in late 2017—the first delivery of lethal aid to the country since Russian separatists seized territory in its Eastern region in 2014—Mulvaney’s office held it up.
“Did you understand why?” asked the congressional staffer questioning her.
“I understood the reason to be a policy one,” she replied.
“What was the policy one?”
“In a briefing with Mick Mulvaney, the question centered around the Russian reaction,” she continued.
“What was the concern about the Russian reaction?” asked the staffer.
“That Russia would react negatively to the provision of Javelins to Ukraine,” she said.
Trump has repeatedly shown that he is beholden to Russia
As the country appropriately focuses its attention on Donald Trump’s bribery and extortion scheme with Ukraine, it’s easy to forget the Russia connection.
We know that Trump was shaking down a foreign power for nonexistent dirt on Joe Biden. That’s at the core of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
But there is also no question that Trump’s decision to stall military aid to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, pleased Vladimir Putin. As TIME noted in September, that military assistance was “vital” in Ukraine’s defense against Russia.
Croft’s testimony confirms what Hillary Clinton said during the 2016 campaign: Donald Trump is a puppet of Vladimir Putin.