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Top Biden official grilled by CNN anchor over 'accounting error' that will send billions more to Ukraine
Ron Sachs/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top Biden official grilled by CNN anchor over 'accounting error' that will send billions more to Ukraine

CNN anchor Jake Tapper expressed skepticism Sunday over an "accounting error" at the Pentagon that will result in more taxpayer-financed military aid going to Ukraine.

What is the background?

Last week, it was revealed that an accounting error led the Pentagon to overestimate the value of military materials that had been sent to Ukraine.

"In some cases, ‘replacement cost’ rather than ‘net book value’ was used, therefore overestimating the value of the equipment drawn down from U.S. stocks," a Pentagon spokesperson said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this means the Pentagon had "inadvertently used a higher value for at least some of the weaponry the Pentagon sent to Ukraine, using valuations for new equipment instead of the older gear pulled out of U.S. stockpiles."

The error — worth at least $3 billion — means Biden can send even more aid to Ukraine. That figure, according to Reuters, could actually increase as the full scope of the error is realized.

What did Sullivan say?

CNN host Jake Tapper asked national security adviser Jake Sullivan about the alleged mistake on "State of the Union," commenting, "That's a hell of an accounting error."

In response, Sullivan emphasized that the Biden administration is not wasting money and American taxpayers should be "confident" in the administration's ability to spend their hard-earned dollars.

"I just want to make clear, that is not money that went out the door and disappeared. That is not a waste of that $3 billion," Sullivan began.

"It is simply a tally of how much military equipment we have given them," he explained. "Once you make that adjustment, it turns out we have an additional $3 billion that we can spend to provide even more weapons to Ukraine.

"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," he said.

Sullivan painted the error as innocent. But questions still loom over the timing of the Pentagon's disclosure, concerns Sullivan failed to address.

The Wall Street Journal reported that an audit of Pentagon finances discovered the accounting error in March — two months before the Pentagon admitted to its mistake. The question, then, is why did the Biden administration wait to admit the error?

Perhaps the timing of the disclosure is related to President Joe Biden's meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Japan at the G7 Summit. The two met on Sunday, where Biden reaffirmed his government's support of Ukraine through — that's right — nearly $400 million in additional aid.

The accounting error, therefore, allows the Biden administration to send even more aid to Ukraine without congressional approval.

The U.S. has sent Ukraine more than $40 billion in military aid since the war began last year.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →