White House Call on Ukraine Aid Couldn’t Be Held Because Trump Was Golfing
President Donald Trump’s aides attempted to get him to release desperately needed military aid to Ukraine in the days before the whistleblower filed his report, but they encountered problems, including Trump’s unwillingness to release the aid and his golfing.
The Pentagon warned the White House budget office that $61 million in aid to Ukraine had to be spent by 12 August or it would no longer be available. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was in charge of the budget office and tried to arrange a phone call with the President and others on the aid freeze.
However, it proved impossible to organize a call because Trump was golfing with professional player John Daly at the President’s Bedminster property in New Jersey. Trump’s staff wasn’t sure how long the game would take, so the call never happened.
Trump later phoned Mulvaney from Bedminster and told him not to release the aid. This conversation took place on the same day as the whistleblower filed his complaint, which led to the impeachment of the President in the House of Representatives.
The New York Times reports that Trump’s officials urged him release the aid, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Their pleas fell on deaf ears.