Mike Pompeo Touts Vague Conspiracy Theory That Barack Obama, Joe Biden Withheld Lethal Military Aid From Ukraine 'Because of Hunter Biden'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested on Fox News a conspiracy theory that Hunter Biden could be the reason the Obama administration did not give Ukraine lethal defensive military equipment as the country fought Russian-backed separatists.

Pompeo did not specify any reason why Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company called Burisma while his father was in office, would be the reason behind the Obama administration's decision.

In reality, the Obama administration considered offering lethal military assistance to Ukraine but opted against, fearing the potential provocation of a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia, the Associated Press (AP) reported at the time.

According to the AP, former President Barack Obama reportedly had concerns about the Ukranian military's capacity to use high-powered American weaponry and that, even with U.S. hardware, it could never match Russia's firepower.

Instead, the Obama administration provided other non-lethal security assistance, such as intelligence support, military training, joint exercises, and loan guarantees.

The Trump administration then reviewed that strategy in 2017, subsequently authorizing the sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, including 210 Javelin portable anti-tank missiles and associated launchers.

"Don't forget, this is the administration that provided defensive weapons systems to Ukraine," Pompeo told Martha McCallum on Wednesday's edition of The Story.

"The previous administration—I couldn't tell you why, I couldn't answer if it's because of Hunter Biden that Barack Obama and Vice President Biden didn't give defensive weapons systems to Ukraine, they'll have to answer for that, maybe I just don't have the full story."

President Donald Trump allegedly pressed Ukraine to open a dubious corruption investigation into the Bidens while using the threat of withheld military aid as leverage. Joe Biden is a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

House Democrats accuse Trump of abusing the power of his office to seek foreign interference to his benefit in the next election. As a result, the House is conducting an impeachment inquiry, taking evidence from Trump officials on his conduct towards Ukraine.

One piece of evidence is a July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. According to an edited summary of the call released by the White House, Trump asked Zelenskiy for a favor and to open investigations into the Bidens and the Democratic Party.

Pompeo sat in on that call. When Fox News host McCallum asked Pompeo if there was anything he heard that was left off of the partial transcript released by the White House, he dodged the question.

"I heard the president very clearly on the call talking about making sure that corruption—whether that corruption took place in the 2016 election, whether that corruption was continuing to take place—that the monies that were being provided would be used appropriately, [which] was very consistent with what I'd understood President Trump and our administration to be doing all along," Pompeo said.

Obama, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden did not respond immediately to Newsweek's requests for comment.

Mike Pompeo Obama Joe Biden Hunter Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits "The Story With Martha MacCallum" at Fox News Channel Studios on October 30, 2019 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Mike Pompeo Touts Vague Conspiracy Theory That Barack Obama, Joe Biden Withheld Lethal Military Aid From Ukraine 'Because of Hunter Biden' | Politics