Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday night sent out a statement to reporters moonwalking back an admission he’d made during a White House press briefing earlier in the day: that the Trump administration withheld military aid from Ukraine as a ploy to get Ukraine to investigate a baseless theory involving Democrats, a server, and the 2016 election. In the span of a few hours, Mulvaney had covered the full spectrum of Trumpish protestation: from a wised-up “everyone does it” to a martyred cry of total innocennce.
Here’s what he told reporters hours ago:
"To be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo" — Here's Mick Mulvaney casually admitting that Trump held up aid to Ukraine as leverage to get the Ukrainian government to investigate the 2016 election pic.twitter.com/ylz7BKEmKd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 17, 2019
Mulvaney just said that U.S. military aid for Ukraine was held up pending Ukraine’s investigation of Democrats.
Things just went from very, very bad to much, much worse. https://t.co/HSVtX9yOBg
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 17, 2019
When ABC News’ Jon Karl pointed out that what Mulvaney had said amounted to a quid pro quo, Mulvaney responded: “We do that all the time with foreign policy. Now, in a statement that starts with blaming the media for misconstruing what he told reporters, Mulvaney claimed that there actually “never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server.”
Mick Mulvaney today.
At 12:30 pm: "Did he also mention to me the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about it.
At 6 pm: “There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server.”
New statement attached. pic.twitter.com/StFuwFAKti
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 17, 2019