Trump Chief of Staff Admits Quid Pro Quo
The White House Chief of Staff made unexpected revelations about the Trump administration pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made a stunning admission on Thursday regarding the alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine, only to walk back on those remarks hours later. Mulvaney confirmed to reporters at a news conference that President Trump did indeed withhold military aid from Ukraine to pressure them into launching an investigation into Democrats and the 2016 election.
Mulvaney issued a statement later on, saying the media was "misconstruing" his earlier comments, adding, “Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election."
Mulvaney’s comments come just weeks after Democrats announced an impeachment inquiry into Trump, citing his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as reason to believe there was quid pro quo. Since that announcement, the Trump administration vehemently denied any such agreement.
Mulvaney told reporters that the nearly $400 million in aid was withheld in part because of the theory that the DNC’s server was corrupted. Mulvaney said the move had nothing to do with former VP and 2020 candidate Joe Biden.
After hearing Mulvaney speak about wanting Ukraine to look into the DNC server, a reporter told him he “just described quid pro quo.”
“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said in response.
When asked why Trump withheld the funds if not for political gain, Mulvaney said: “President Trump is not a big fan of foreign aid. Never has been, still isn’t. Doesn’t like spending money overseas, especially when it’s poorly spent, and that is exactly what drove this decision.”
Mulvaney said withholding the funding was “absolutely appropriate” because it focused on possible corruption from the 2016 election and not the upcoming 2020 election.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy," he said.
Other members of the Trump administration are currently being investigated for their role in the Ukraine scandal.