Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters that President Donald Trump wanted to withhold military aid to Ukraine in an effort to pressure the country into investigating alleged corruption surrounding the 2016 election. Trump's decision to withhold the aid sparked an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats who believed Trump was abusing his power by asking a foreign nation to launch a separate investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Mulvaney defended Trump, explaining that he held up the money because he had concerns about corruption in Ukraine related to the 2016 election.
"The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing he was worried about in corruption with that nation, and that is absolutely appropriate," Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney brushed off Trump's actions telling the press to "get over it" and explaining that "there's going to be political influence in foreign policy."
"That is going to happen," he added. "Elections have consequences."
He denied that Trump held up the money to get dirt on Biden or his son.
"I was involved with the process by which the money was held up temporarily, okay?" Mulvaney said. "Three issues for that. The corruption in the country, whether or not other countries were participating in the support of the Ukraine, and whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice. That's completely legitimate."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump, said that the Mulvaney's revelation is concerning and that the situation has "gone from very, very bad to much, much worse."
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