White House Lifts Mysterious Hold on Military Aid to Lebanon
18:30, Tuesday, 03 December, 2019
The Trump administration told Congress on Monday that it had lifted a hold last week on $105 million of military aid to Lebanon that budget officials had imposed without explanation.
In recent weeks, lawmakers and reporters had asked administration officials about the mysterious monthslong hold, which echoed the freeze of military aid to Ukraine over the summer, but got no answers. On Monday, a senior State Department official said the Lebanon aid was good to go.
The freeze on Ukraine aid by President Trump is at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry. Mr. Trump, his personal lawyer and aides pressured Ukrainian leaders for personal political favors while holding up $391 million of military aid.
Administration officials said that in the cases of Ukraine and Lebanon, the Office of Management and Budget, part of the White House, had shut off the aid. Two congressional officials said on Nov. 1 that members of the National Security Council staff had asked the budget office for the freeze on aid to Lebanon.