Jake Tapper Calls Out Pentagon’s $3 Billion Miscalculation: ‘That’s a Hell of an Accounting Error’ (Video)
CNN anchor Jake Tapper grilled National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on the Pentagon’s massive $3 billion miscalculation of equipment sent to Ukraine, calling it “a hell of an accounting error.”
“There was this very bizarre admission from the Pentagon this week of an accounting error that suggested that the U.S. has at least $3 billion that it didn’t know it had that it can use for Ukraine aid,” Tapper said to Sullivan on Sunday’s “State of the Union.” “That’s a hell of an accounting error. And it provides a lot of fodder to critics of U.S. aid to Ukraine, and critics who say there’s not enough oversight going on. Are you concerned about this accounting error?”
Sullivan, who has served as National Security Advisor since President Biden took office, clarified that the excess funds were not wasted, but simply the result of a misevaluation of the cost of the military equipment. As the equipment sent was overvalued, it will result in an additional $3 billion in aid that can be sent to Ukraine to support its ongoing war with Russia.
CNN’s Jake Tapper Presses a Bobbing and Weaving Gov. Brian Kemp Whether Trump Is ‘Unelectable’ Amid Investigations
“At the end of the day, not one penny of U.S. dollars will have gone missing or have been misallocated,” Sullivan said. “It will all be provided in the form of equipment to Ukraine on the battlefield. But of course, it would be better to get it right in terms of the accounting up front. In the end, though, the Pentagon discovered the error, the Pentagon corrected the error and Ukraine will get what it needs. And the American taxpayer will be able to be confident that this money is being spent effectively and appropriately.”
It is possible the amount of overvalued equipment could increase beyond $3 billion as the Pentagon continues to examine the situation, an unnamed defense official told Reuters Friday.
Since August 2021, the United States has sent about $21.1 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine from its military reserves, per Reuters.
“The Department of Defense’s change in evaluating the costs of arms sent to Ukraine is a major mistake,” U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Reuters. “Its effect would be to underestimate future needs for our European allies. Our priority should be a Ukrainian victory over Putin. Unilaterally altering military aid calculations is an attempt at deception and undermines this goal.”
CNN Aftershocks: The Fallout for CEO Chris Licht After Trump Town Hall