President Joe Biden’s administration allegedly suspended $100 million in “lethal” aid to Ukraine ahead of his summit this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Without denying that allegation directly, White House Press Secretary said Friday that the administration gave $150 million in aid — including “lethal” aid — to Ukraine last week, and had spent the amount appropriated by Congress.
But the allegation concerned a separate package, said to be shelved by Biden aides.
If the allegation — reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by Politico — is true, then what Biden did is far worse than what Trump did in 2019, when he was accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine until it investigated Joe Biden for corruption. In fact, Trump had already provided crucial Javelin anti-tank missiles months before the hold on additional “security assistance” to Ukraine Moreover, the aid that was withheld was future funding, not ongoing funding.
It was also never clear that Ukraine was even aware that the Trump administration had withheld the aid, which was soon delivered anyway. And Ukraine was not the only country from which the Trump administration had withheld funds, over concerns about corruption and other issues.
One thing Trump had provided, which the Obama-Biden administration never did, was “lethal” aid that would make a difference in Ukraine’s fight to defend its borders from Russian invasion.
What Biden did, according to the reports, was kill a new package of “lethal” aid to Ukraine just days before his summit with Putin.
Psaki cited Biden’s statements of support for Ukraine as evidence that “we will stand unwavering in support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Unfortunately, Biden’s words and actions diverge sharply. Since Biden took office in January, he has given one concession after another to Russia, frequently leaving Ukraine out in the cold.
Biden gave Putin a five-year extension of the notoriously one-sided New START nonproliferation treaty, though Putin had only asked for one. (Trump had hoped to include China in a new round of nonproliferation talks; Biden threw that possibility away.) Biden also gave a green light to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Trump had opposed — and which will result in massive financial losses to Ukraine. Moreover, Trump met with Putin — in a grandiose “summit” — before meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, despite the latter’s impassioned pleas to meet with him first.
Reports suggest that the Biden administration may have canceled the new aid after Russia “announced it would draw down troops stationed near Ukraine” before the summit with Biden. But if Putin brings the troops back, future aid could arrive too late.
Biden left a U.S. ally weakened, just to smooth relations with Putin. Trump was impeached for less.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.