Home Politics Mulvaney Revises His Statement, Says There Was “Never” Any Quid Pro Quo...

Mulvaney Revises His Statement, Says There Was “Never” Any Quid Pro Quo For Ukraine Aid

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After earlier on Thursday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney set off a media firestorm when in a press briefing he said that the the Trump administration held up military assistance to Ukraine in part because Trump wanted Kiev to investigate allegations about Ukraine’s involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee server in 2016, later on Thursday Mulvaney revised his remarks, maintaining that there had never been any quid pro quo between the hold the administration put on aid to Ukraine and Ukraine’s cooperation on an investigation into allegations surrounding the DNC server.

In a statement late on Thursday afternoon, Mulvaney accused the media of “misconstruing” his earlier remarks to the press at the White House “to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump”, and explained that the aid was held over concerns about a lack of financial support from other nations, especially in Europe, for Ukraine: the “only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption.” He had cited that rationale in the earlier briefing before adding that the server was an issue that the president wanted investigated before aid was forthcoming.

“Multiple times during the more-than 30 minute briefing where I took over 25 questions, I referred to President Trump’s interest in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, and ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and appropriately,” Mulvaney said in the statement.

“There was never any condition on the flow of aid related to the matter of the DNC server,” Mulvaney said in the later statement, which is reposted below:

Mulvaney’s earlier comments represented the first official acknowledgement of a link by the White House between the aid and investigations the president wanted Ukraine to pursue. He said then that Trump’s concerns about corruption in Ukraine— including an unfounded suspicion the president has expressed that the hacked DNC server from the 2016 U.S. election has since been hidden in Ukraine — were partly responsible for Mr. Trump’s order to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine in July.

“Did [Trump] also mention to me in the past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that was it. That’s why we held up the money,” Mulvaney told reporters at the earlier afternoon briefing.

Another factor in the decision to withhold the aid, Mulvaney said in his earlier comments, was whether Ukraine was cooperating in a Justice Department review of the origins of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, a probe that was later taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the things that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate,” Mulvaney continued, suggesting Trump wanted assistance with an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department.

However, according to the WSJ, a senior DOJ official said the department wasn’t aware of any effort to hold up aid in return for better cooperation by Kiev in its review. If the White House was withholding aid for that reason, “that is news to us,” the official said. The official declined to say whether the DNC’s computer server is a focus of the review.

And in another outburst of truthiness, Mulvaney also told reporters that there would be “political influence in foreign policy” and that they needed to “get over it.” Needless to say, that comment did not go over well:

Mulvaney’s earlier comments surprised senior aides in the White House, where officials said they had never heard Mulvaney describe Trump’s decision to suspend military aid as conditioned on new investigations by Ukraine. Mulvaney had been tasked by Trump with halting that aid.

A media firestorm erupted on Monday afternoon, after Mulvaney’s initial claim that the held aid was explicitly linked to investigations came in stark contrast to Trump’s repeated denial of any quid pro quo—a central focus of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. In recent days, several U.S. diplomats have testified to House committees that they believed it was necessary for Ukraine to commit to certain investigations before Mr. Trump would agree to meet with Ukraine’s president.

Trump’s personal legal team also distanced itself from Mulvaney’s remarks on Thursday: according to the WSJ, Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said: “The president’s legal counsel was not involved in acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s press briefing.”

Trump has repeatedly said that the driving force behind his decision to hold up the aid was that he felt European nations weren’t doing enough to help Ukraine, a concern that Mulvaney repeated on Thursday. The Europeans are “really, really stingy when it comes to lethal aid,” Mulvaney said.

That said, Mulvaney also noted that Mr. Trump’s desire for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden wasn’t related to the hold on aid. That call prompted House Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry last month.

Mulvaney’s backtracking was prompted by the vocal response by Democrats to his original comments. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the de facto leader of the impeachment inquiry, said Mulvaney’s comments on Thursday indicated that “things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse.”

In addition to denying the existence of a quid pro quo publicly, Trump also did so in at least two private conversations. He told Sen. Ron Johnson in August that there was no link between the hold on aid and new probes by Kiev regarding U.S. elections, Johnson told The Wall Street Journal. Johnson said Mr. Trump told him: “No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?”

Trump also told Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, that there was no link between investigations and aid, Mr. Sondland told House committees Thursday. He said he asked the president: “What do you want from Ukraine?” Mr. Trump responded, “Nothing. There is no quid pro quo,” Mr. Sondland said.

At the same time, Mulvaney said that quid pro quos and political considerations are a standard practice in foreign policy. “We do that all of the time with foreign policy,” he said. “I have news for everybody: Get over it,” he added. “There is going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

Mulvaney also defended the administration’s right to discuss the president’s political opponents with foreign leaders, and said that the White House in no way tried to cover up Mr. Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president.

Attention also turned to Rudy Giuliani, as several diplomats in House committees have raised concern about the former NYC mayor’s efforts to conduct “shadow diplomacy” and cut out the State Department, National Security Council and the Department of Defense in dealing with Ukraine.

Mulvaney said the president is free to appoint anyone he wants to conduct foreign policy. He noted that Mr. Trump never asked him personally to work with Giuliani, but confirmed that the president asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to work with Giuliani. On Thursday, Rick Perry officially handed in his resignation.

Also on Thursday, Sondland, in his testimony to House committees, criticized Mr. Trump over his efforts to enlist Ukraine in investigating a political rival and said he and other U.S. officials were “disappointed” by the president’s directive to work with Giuliani on Ukraine matters.

 

via zerohedge

14 COMMENTS

    • https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/10/18/maxine-waters-mulvaney-outed-trump-as-the-most-corrupt-man-in-america/

      Waters said, “Well, that’s typical of Trump and all of his minions around him. They say what is on their mind asks then when they discover they’ve messed up they try to so-called walk it back. So Mulvaney said exactly what was going on. There was a quid pro quo. Absolutely. He can try and walk it back all he wants, but just think about this. The president is talking about the reason he’s into this altogether is simply he’s trying to get the president of the Ukraine to investigate corruption. He’s the most corrupt man in America, the president of the United States who has cheated, you know, contractor, subcontractors, won’t show his own tax returns to Americans, who has cheated students who in the fake university so-called up in New York, the Trump University and he’s talking about, he’s going all of the way to Ukraine so that he can get the president to investigate corruption. Give me a break. They’re liars. They’re cheaters. These are con men. So Mulvaney said exactly what was on his mind and he discovered he messed up. So you messed up, but you told the truth and guess what? You’re all going to get caught.”

      No Maxine, YOU are all going to get caught. Will be the BEST Day in American History.

      Crickets about Clinton’s failed school. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/youve-heard-of-trump-university-but-what-about-clinton-university

      “Laureate is a for-profit online college that received an unusually large amount of money from the U.S. State Department. This happened while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and after her husband Bill was named “honorary chancellor,” a position that paid him $16.5 million over five years. His role included giving speeches around the world and lending his name to attract prospective students”

      Maxine, you been yelling impeachment since the day of the election when your girl went down in flames. But keep talking, the more you talk the more people will realize YOUR OWN agenda, and it’s got nothing to do with the American citizens.

  1. Quid Pro Quo requires PERSONAL benefits, you know, like the Bidens received, when done on the behalf of the country, it’s called NEGOTIATION!!!!

  2. Watched that interview and once again the media got it wrong. We can’t blame them. They only hear things the way they want to and if they don’t hear that then they spin or make it up. Time to get some real journalists on the payroll to replace these biased hacks.

  3. I’m sure there is an actual account of this interview, this article should have linked it. Tells me that they twisted his words big time!! TYPICAL!!!! I’d like to point out that the media is fine with SCHIFF revising his statement!! Double standards 😠

  4. Never ending lies, never ending corruption and 99% of it coming from the left! When will these fools wake up? I say they wont so vote them out come election day! Don’t get lazy thinking Trump is a shoe in! I say that because this election WILL BE the most corrupt election in American history! If every candidate doesn’t win by a landslide victory liberals will find a way to cheat and lie their way into that office! They’ve done it before with the illegal vote and ballot harvesting and they can damn sure do it again because nothing has changed! So get out and vote, make your family and friends get out and vote along with your neighbors! This election is the most important election you will see in your lifetime! Lose it and you lose your country and your liberty and freedom!

    • I agree with you 100%!! If the Democrats win then our Constitution is on life-support. All they have to do is eliminate the 2nd Amendment and the whole thing will collapse like a house of cards. Booker is so stupid that he thinks he can eliminate the Bill of Rights with an executive order, and Bettlejuice O’Rourke told us that the democrats intends to send the police and the military door to door to collect our guns and the Dung Beetle Quartet, you know, AOC and her pals, will invite Al-Qaeda in to help collect the guns!! Hello Venezuela!!

      • I never voted straight republican ticket before. I always picked and chose candidates by positions. Not any longer straight republican ticket all the way until the wheels fall off. After watching the weaponizing of the democratic criminal party I can never let that happen again.

  5. He was an absolute fool!! He said that in any dealings with a foreign government there is always some “quid pro quo” when he was trying to describe a “give and take” verbal exchange. What an idiot!!! To say that in the climate we have in DC he needs to be sent packing.

  6. Forget it Mulvaney! The Socialist/Liberal/Demwits will find a quid pro quo just like a cover up! They have not found anything yet and that is proof of a coverup and quid pro quo!

  7. Old Gringo: Why did they carry on with the Russia collusion probe for two years+, wasting our money and time? Because they’re desperately trying to prevent their ACTUAL crimes from being exposed and they’ll stop at nothing to do it. Hillary was supposed to be in the white house to sweep all of it under the rug, but, oops…didn’t happen. And now they’re panic-stricken, scrambling feverishly to cover their own asses. That’s the only reason why they’re pursuing their senseless, ridiculous, pitiful non-actions. Get over what? YOU and your corrupt party need to get over the fact that Hillary LOST. She’s not the president and never will be, no matter what crooked tricks they try to pull. Tried and tried and failed and failed. Jesus, Old Gringo, we’re heading into a new election, already! GET OVER IT.

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