After a disastrous press conference performance in which acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney agreed that the White House had held up U.S. military aid in a “quid pro quo” exchange requesting a Ukrainian investigation of a bizarre Trump-Giuliani conspiracy theory suggesting Democratic “corruption” in the country—an admission that destroyed weeks of Republican defenses of Trump and his team—Mulvaney is finally attempting to walk that admission back.
In a brief statement, Mulvaney is now claiming that “the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt” and that “there was absolutely no quid pro quo.”
But it’s not a surprise that Mulvaney was forced to issue such a statement. Pundits and legal experts alike immediately noted the catastrophic nature of what Mulvaney had just admitted to: Trump’s team was indeed illegally withholding U.S. military aid in an attempt to extract a political favor from the Ukrainian president.
"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
And in case there’s any doubt about what Mulvaney said – here’s a relevant part of the briefing. “That’s why we held up the money.” pic.twitter.com/hEHb48eYo7
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 17, 2019