Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney denied knowledge of any wrongdoing by President Donald Trump despite his remarks being misinterpreted during a marathon press briefing on Thursday.
Mulvaney said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Oct. 20, that his words were in fact misunderstood.
“That’s what people are saying that I said, but I didn’t say that,” Mulvaney insisted, explaining that despite President Trump expressed concern over Ukraine and the Democratic National Committee’s breached server, it “wasn’t connected to the aid,” according to Fox News.
The uncertainty surrounding Mulvaney’s remarks stemmed from a conversation between him and ABC News reporter Jon Karl. Karl asked if there was any link between Ukraine and the Republicans withholding aid, suggesting that this is a quid pro quo, according to Fox News.
“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said, later explaining that “there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”
Democratic lawmakers have accused Trump of withholding $391 million in aid to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden regarding corruption, but Mulvaney claims that this was indeed not the case.
Mulvaney stated that the most convincing evidence for there being no quid pro quo is the fact that the Trump administration released the aid to Ukraine in the end.
“The aid flowed,” Mulvaney explained to Fox News host Chris Wallace, citing that once Ukrainian efforts to regulate corruption in the country and other nations’ financial support was secured, the money went straight to Ukraine.
Mulvaney added that nothing in the July 25 call between Trump and Zelenskiy linked the aid to the Biden probe, and focused on “the facts on the ground.”
“No. 1, it is legitimate for the president to want to know what’s going on with the ongoing investigation into the server … it is completely legitimate to ask about that. No. 2, it’s legitimate to tie the aid to corruption, it’s legitimate to tie the aid to foreign aid from other countries,” Mulvaney said. “That’s what I was talking about with the three. Can I see how people took that the wrong way? Absolutely. But I never said there was a quid pro quo, because there isn’t.”
“I never said there was a quid pro quo because there isn’t,” Mulvaney defended his remarks at the event on Fox. “Reporters will use their language all the time. My language never said quid pro quo.”
The president blasted Democrats for claiming falsely that there was a quid pro quo between him and Zelenskiy, and firmly denied any wrongdoing.
“This Scam going on right now by the Democrats against the Republican Party, and me, was all about a perfect phone call I had with the Ukrainian President,” Trump said in a series of tweets on Sunday. “He’s already stated, NO PRESSURE!”
When asked if he is going to resign over being misinterpreted after Thursday’s press conference regarding aid to Ukraine, Mulvaney was firm that he will not.
“No, absolutely not. Absolutely, positively not,” Mulvaney told Wallace on Sunday. “Did I have a perfect press conference? No. But the facts are on our side.”