Representative image: Reuters

The White House is holding up security assistance to Lebanon valued at more than $100 million, leaving lawmakers and policymakers in the dark, a senior State Department official publicly confirmed.

David Hale, the top career diplomat at the State Department, acknowledged the freeze as he spoke under oath to lawmakers in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Asked about the controversial delay in military assistance to Ukraine, Hale said that it was not an isolated case and pointed to Lebanon.

“There was information that came to me starting in late June that a hold had been placed on both Ukraine assistance and Lebanon military assistance without any explanation,” said Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, according to a transcript released by lawmakers late Monday.

“It’s still not been released,” he said in the November 6 deposition when asked about the status of aid to Lebanon.

Asked why the White House was not disbursing money approved by Congress, Hale said there was apparently “a dispute over the efficacy of the assistance,” but his full answer was redacted.

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