In his opening statement, diplomat Bill Taylor said that during a July 18 conference call, a staff person from the Office of Management and Budget said there was a hold on aid for Ukraine but "could not say why."
He added: "Towards the end of an otherwise normal meeting, a voice on the call — the person was off screen — said that she was from OMB and her boss instructed her not to approve any additional spending on security systems for Ukraine until further notice."
Taylor said he and others "sat in astonishment" after hearing this directive.
"Ukrainians were fighting Russians and counted on not only the training and weapons but also the assurance of U.S. Support. All that the OMB staff person said was that the directive had come from the president to the chief of staff to OMB," Taylor said.
"In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened," he said.