White House Call Over Frozen Ukraine Aid Was Delayed Because Trump Was Golfing
A new report detailing the events surrounding President Donald Trump’s decision to freeze U.S. military aid to Ukraine earlier this year revealed that White House officials struggled to set up a phone call with the president.
Why? Because Trump apparently could not be bothered while he hit the links at one of his golf courses.
According to Newsweek, the new report published by The New York Times indicates that one month before the military aid was released — which took place in September, after a whistleblower complaint over the matter came to the White House’s attention — senior administration officials trying to convince Trump to unfreeze the aid were either rebuffed by the president or stymied by his schedule.
Around that time, Pentagon officials warned the White House budget office, led by Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, that the funds needed to be sent by August 12 or the $61 million earmarked for Ukraine would be lost, Newsweek reported.
Mulvaney, in turn, attempted to schedule a phone call with the president and other officials, but a time could not be set because Trump was golfing with pro golfer John Daly at his course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The phone call never happened, according to The Times report, but Trump did tell Mulvaney on August 12 that he did not want the Ukraine aid released — and later that same day, the whistleblower report was filed.
The matter did not become public until Politico reported on the freeze on August 28, at which point “then-National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper joined Trump in the Oval Office to try and sway the president” to unlock the funds.
They did not meet with success, with Trump telling the officials that Ukraine was "a corrupt country" and the U.S. was "pissing away our money" by helping the nation, which had just come under the new leadership of President Volodymyr Zelensky.