Report: Ukraine aid was released sooner than Trump said

The State Department released military aid to Ukraine before President Trump announced that he had stopped withholding it on Sept. 11, Bloomberg reported reported Saturday, citing five people familiar with the matter.

State Department lawyers had found earlier this year that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and therefore Trump could not legally block the aid, Bloomberg reported, noting that this determination resulted in the release of the $141 million.

OMB spokeswoman Rachel Semmel challenged this narrative in a statement to The Hill.

“At no point was this pause inappropriate, let alone illegal,” Semmel said. “OMB has the statutory role to manage budget execution, consistent with the law and the President’s policy agenda.”

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