U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) got most of the money intended to provide military aid to Ukraine on time, as required, and at no point in time was U.S. national security harmed.
"The key point is this, we got most of the money out on time, as required, and at no point in time was U.S. national security harmed," he said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
Esper was asked whether U.S. President Donald Trump had ever explained to him why he had decided to go against the Pentagon's decision and hold up the aid.
"I have nothing to share with you on this. As you know, I came into office in late July and since that time, as we look at this issue periodically, the DoD's focus has been on three things. What is the importance, the value of the aid to Ukraine to deter Russian behavior and defend themselves. Number two, are they making progress on corruption, which is of key interest to the Congress, and then number three, how are we getting other NATO allies, European partners, to also help assist the Ukrainians?" Esper said.