The White House budget office first took steps to officially withhold $250 million in Pentagon aid to Ukraine on the evening of July 25, the same day as President Trump's now infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, CNN reports, citing a House Budget Committee summary of the office’s documents. The withholding letter for the aid, which was among documents provided to the committee, was reportedly signed by a career Office of Management and Budget official. Michael Duffey, an OMB political appointee, signed the letters and thereby took over the decision to withhold the aid the next month, according to CNN.
The hold was first placed on the Ukraine aid at the beginning of July, and the relevant agencies were made aware at a July 18 meeting that it had been frozen at the president’s request, a week before the Trump-Zelensky call. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs Laura Cooper testified before Congress that the Ukrainian government had made clear by that time that they aware there was an issue with the aid.