White House pushes back against idea Ukrainians knew of aid hold in July
By Colby Itkowitz and Elise Viebeck
The White House responded swiftly after Cooper testified that the Ukrainians asked about the status of the military aid as early as July 25, challenging the timeline of when Ukraine found out about the delay.
“This is just an assumption based on Ukraine bringing up the aid. Simply discussing the aid in no way means they knew it was being withheld,” the White House said in talking points that it circulated by email.
The White House said that Zelensky and several impeachment witnesses had made “abundantly clear” that Ukraine didn’t know about the hold in July.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.) used the talking points in questioning Cooper, saying that just because her staff received questions about the assistance did not mean the Ukrainians knew about the hold.
“You cannot say one way or another whether the inquiries in these emails were about the hold — is that fair?” he asked Cooper.
“I cannot say for certain,” Cooper said. She stated that it was the “recollection of [her] staff” that the Ukrainians likely knew about the hold before it was reported in Politico but told Ratcliffe, “I don’t have a certain data point to offer you.”
“It’s not unusual is it, Ms. Cooper, for foreign countries to inquire about foreign aid that they’re expecting from the U.S.? Is it?” Ratcliffe asked.
“Sir, in my experience with the Ukrainians, they typically would call about specific things, not just generally checking in on their assistance package,” Cooper said.