Updated: Aug 5
The New York Times provides a remarkable revelation: the White House's relationship with the Ukrainian president is apparently fractured.
One of the most important US journalists, Tom Friedman of the New York Times (NYT), reveals in his current in the NYT: The U.S. government has massive problems with Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Friedman, who is extremely well-connected in Democratic decision-making circles and in the government apparatus in Washington, writes: "In private conversation, U.S. officials are much more concerned about Ukraine's leadership than they admit. There is deep distrust between the White House and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - considerably more than previously reported."
Friedman calls Zelensky’s recent personnel decisions "strange events" and writes, "On July 17, Zelensky fired his country's attorney general and the head of domestic intelligence - the most significant shakeup of his administration since the Russian invasion in February. That would be like Biden firing Merrick Garland and Bill Burns on the same day."
Is there corruption in Ukraine?
Friedman doesn't understand the decision - and so it seems to many in Washington. "I have yet to see any reporting that convincingly explains what this is all about," says the NYT best-selling author. His conclusion: "It seems like we don't want to look too closely under the covers in Kiev for fear of corruption or scandals we might discover - having invested so much there."
The story does not appear to be innuendo or mere conjecture on the part of the columnist, although he buries the explosive information in a text about Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. Friedman announces, "More on the dangers of that another day."
Back in early June, U.S. intelligence officials had complained that they had not been adequately briefed by Kiev on what was going on in the country. "How much do we really know about how Ukraine is doing?" said Beth Sanner, a former senior intelligence official, at the time to the : "Can you find anyone who can tell you with confidence how many troops Ukraine has lost, how many pieces of equipment Ukraine has lost?"
"For transparency reasons, we need to know where this stuff is going"
Avril D. Haines, the director of National Intelligence (DNI), testified last month at a Senate hearing that "it's very hard to say" how much additional weapons aid Ukraine could absorb.
A short time later, NATO sounded the alarm and , that apparently some equipment was not reaching the front lines, but rather the international black market. Out loud, political officials are starting to get restless.
For example, Republican Rep. Michael Waltz said congressional confidence in the $40 billion arms and aid program for Ukraine will dwindle without more direct oversight. "For transparency reasons, we need to know where this stuff is going," he said.
Tom Friedman believes the war in Ukraine could yet become a problem for U.S. taxpayers - and that the Ukrainian president, hailed by much of the media as a hero of freedom, could become a problem.
Friedman cites anonymous "senior" officials who believe the use of "a small nuclear weapon against Ukraine" by the Russians is possible. In any case, the war is far from over, the situation is not stable, and new "dangerous surprises" could emerge any day.