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Mulvaney: OK, There Was a Quid Pro Quo

The acting White House chief of staff gives a new answer about Ukraine policy
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2019 2:54 PM CDT
President Donald Trump's acting-Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney arrives for a House Republican strategy meeting with Vice President Mike Pence ahead of President Donald Trump's speech on funding a wall on...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – "I have news for everybody: Get over it." Mick Mulvaney said so Thursday while acknowledging a quid pro quo regarding US aid to Ukraine—the first such admission by a White House official, the New York Times reports. The acting White House chief of staff said the administration did withhold $391 million in military aid, but did so to pressure Ukraine into investigating corruption, not Joe and Hunter Biden. "The look-back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about in corruption with that nation," said Mulvaney. "And that is absolutely appropriate." Seems "look-back" refers to two conspiracy theories that Vox calls "debunked."

One claims that a Ukraine-based company is holding Hillary Clinton's emails, the other that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. Trump has lodged both. "Did he also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely," said Mulvaney. "No question about that." Mulvaney compared the quid pro quo to America holding back aid to three Central American countries—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—so they would curb the passage of undocumented immigrants, per the Washington Post. "This is the ordinary course of foreign policy," he said. Mulvaney's statement stands in contrast to President Trump's repeated denials of any quid pro quo in withholding the aid. "There was no quid pro quo," he said in one instance last month. "There was nothing." (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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