Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the White House's top Ukraine expert, spelled out to members of Congress that he believed the Ukrainians understood President Trump’s demand for investigations to be in exchange for a bilateral meeting — not aid to Ukraine.
Asked when the Ukrainians were made aware of the hold on US foreign aid, Vindman said:
“It was no secret, at least within government and official channels, that security assistance was on hold. And to the best of my recollection, I believe there was some of these light inquiries in the mid-August timeframe…about security assistance.”
“And just to be clear, is it fair then that when you related that opinion that the withholding of military aid was clearly not part of the demand during that July 25th phone call?” a member of Congress asked.
He responded: “I don’t think the Ukrainians were aware of it. So, my understanding is this was all about getting the bilateral meeting."