On Thursday, October 17, Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump's acting White House Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of Management and Budget, admitted to reporters that the Trump administration had engaged in a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine.
Our country would send continued military aid to ward off Russia in exchange for their help in investigating Trump's political opponents.
"To be clear, what you described is a quid pro quo" -- Here's Mick Mulvaney casually admitting that Trump held up a… https://t.co/IzqkjX6ytI— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1571332193.0
Mulvaney told reporters, in regards to funding Ukraine:
"Did [Trump] also mention to me in the past the corruption that related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that's it, and that's why we hung up the money."
BREAKING: Trump's chief of staff says the president "absolutely" mentioned to him that "corruption related to the D… https://t.co/EJSSWaL1ZK— Yahoo News (@Yahoo News)1571332824.0
Mulvaney also told the press:
"Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy...That is going to happen. Elections have consequences."
He seems nice.
When acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, was asked about Trump illegally withholding aid, he said “Get over it.”… https://t.co/IoqWRZzTI2— Swing Left (@Swing Left)1571334012.0
While Mulvaney's words leave little room for misinterpretation, he still insisted in a press release later that day that the media had 'misconstrued' his comments:
"Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump. Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election."
Except that this is the exact opposite of what Mulvaney claimed on camera, as even Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski admitted:
“You don’t hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative,” Murkowski says when… https://t.co/j5WNQSWlm2— Igor Bobic (@Igor Bobic)1571339973.0
Amid reports that President Trump and his staff were shocked while watching the first earlier press conference, Mulvaney then continued to make claims completely different from the ones he had made earlier in the day.
"The President never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server. The only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption."
Twitter found Mulvaney's direct contradictions as hilarious as they are concerning.
Mulvaney: “How dare you report what I said. Verbatim. Exactly as I said it.”— Bryan Behar (@Bryan Behar)1571361470.0
Mulvaney admitting to the crime we all knew Trump had already committed was a clever way to distract from the forth… https://t.co/HK1VdltRX3— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer)1571355564.0
!!!! White House aides spent only a short time prepping Mulvaney on impeachment questions and did not expect he wou… https://t.co/Pnv02NQDoZ— Shimon Prokupecz (@Shimon Prokupecz)1571359778.0
During his initial press conference, Mulvaney also made reference to a long-debunked conservative conspiracy theory that alleges Ukraine is in possession of a stolen DNC server which holds (you guessed it) Hillary Clinton's lost emails and that Ukraine actually framed Russia for election interference.
No such server is missing from the DNC, whose system actually contains 140 different server units.
Things are not looking good for Mulvaney's political future.
Hard to see how Mulvaney lasts the weekend. Firing him is the only way to cauterize his confession.— Philippe Reines (@Philippe Reines)1571360771.0
“Totally inexplicable,” said one GOP lawmaker, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid. “He literally s… https://t.co/zqravP3h3v— Maddow Blog (@Maddow Blog)1571362040.0
I think a very solid next question to Mulvaney is “what’s the amount of time you estimate that you’ll serve in pris… https://t.co/IJXSstQgrv— Soledad O'Brien (@Soledad O'Brien)1571363999.0
Twitter thinks the Acting Chief of Staff might want to start hunting for a new job.
The White House has released the Mulvaney transcript. As best I can tell, all the words we heard him say are still there.— Steven Dennis (@Steven Dennis)1571360994.0
Mulvaney was briefed and was supposed to go out and do the WH briefing in part to announce a decision that aides kn… https://t.co/imfCC7uwUm— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1571355310.0
Mick, next time you plan on admitting to a crime, try to do it when there aren't so many cameras around.
The book High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump is available here.
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
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Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!