There’s a jarring passage in the testimony of Christopher Anderson, which was released yesterday by the House Intelligence Committee. Anderson is a Foreign Service Officer who was serving as a special advisor to Kurt Volker while he was the U.S. Special Envoy on Ukraine.
In January of this year, the U.S. Navy was sending a naval vessel into the Black Sea and specifically through the Kerch Strait. Without going too deep into the geography, this is a narrow passageway through which Russia can limit maritime access to parts of Ukraine because Russia now controls Crimea. Here the Navy was asserting its right to unfettered transit to support Ukraine. It’s referred to as a “freedom of navigation operation.”
President Trump saw a CNN report about the mission, thought it was a challenge to Russia and called John Bolton at home one night ordering him to cancel the mission.