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Lebanese army soldiers with the 6th Brigade on the Syrian-Lebanese border in 2017. Photo: Patrick Baz/AFP via Getty Images

A senior Trump administration official confirmed Monday that $105 million in military aid to Lebanon was released after it was delayed for months without explanation.

The big picture: The administration has not disclosed the reason why the congressionally approved aid, which had "overwhelming support from the Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council," was held up since September, per AP.

What they're saying: Officials would not confirm precisely when the aid was released, but sources told AP it was "just before the Thanksgiving holiday and lawmakers were notified of the step on Monday."

  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, last week compared the holdup to the withholding of military aid for Ukraine that triggered the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
  • However, officials told AP there had been no allegation that Trump had asked Lebanon for "a favor" from Lebanon in return for the aid, unlike the Ukraine quid pro quo allegations — which the president denies and which Republicans on the House committees investigating the controversy concluded did not happen, per a report reviewed by Axios Monday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.