Dem lawmaker demolishes GOP defense that Trump still did more for Ukraine than Obama
Under-secretary of State David Hale and Foreign Service Officer Laura Cooper (Photo: Screen capture)

During the impeachment testimony of State Department officials Laura Cooper and David Hale, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) used his time to dismantle a growing defense of President Donald Trump's apparent use of Ukrainian foreign aid for an extortion scheme: that Obama didn't give Ukraine aid either, so Trump didn't even have to.

"Now as to the justification," said Swalwell. "The justification is that the Obama administration only provided blankets, so the Ukrainians should be grateful, even after being shaken down, that the Trump administration provided more, but the truth, Ms. Cooper, is that under the Obama administration and the European Reassurance Initiative, $175 million were provided from U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Ukrainians, is that right?"

Sir, I don't have that figure," said Cooper. "The figure that we typically use is to say we've provided $1.6 billion to date, but I don't have the breakdown in front of me."

"And the Obama administration also trained five military battalions of the Ukrainians, is that correct?" Swalwell added.

"Again, I don't have the figures in front of me, but yes, the training program began in the Obama administration, and we did train many forces," said Cooper.

"And under the Obama administration founded Ukrainian Security Assistance Initiative provided to the Ukrainians were armored Humvees, tactical drones, night vision devices, armored vests, and medical equipment, is that correct?" asked Swalwell.

"Those all sound like pieces of equipment that were provided in the Obama administration, to my recollection," said Cooper.

"You would agree that's a lot more than blankets, right?" asked Swalwell.

"Yes, sir," said Cooper.

"Ambassador Hale, the aid that was withheld to Lebanon and Pakistan [under Obama], those were for legitimate foreign policy objectives, is that right?" continued Swalwell.

"I would say that's true," said Hale.

"And you would agree that withholding aid to investigate a political opponent is not a legitimate foreign policy objective, is that right?" added Swalwell.

"Correct," said Hale.

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