Mick Mulvaney Tried to Lie on Fox News About His Ukraine Comments. Then Chris Wallace Ran the Tape.

Oof.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney went on Fox News on Sunday to attempt to explain statements he made this week involving President Donald Trump and Ukraine. It didn’t go well.

Here’s the backstory: Mulvaney made a stunning admission on Thursday that yes, the Trump administration withheld aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory about Democrats and election hacking in 2016. It was, as he affirmed, a quid pro quo. Hours later, Mulvaney issued a statement walking those comments back. Both Democrats and Republicans criticized the statements.

Mulvaney went on Fox News Sunday to do a little more damage control. Host Chris Wallace didn’t waste any time asking Mulvaney directly about the remarks.

“Why did you say, in that briefing, that President Trump had ordered a quid pro quo that aid to Ukraine depended on investigating the Democrats?” Wallace asked.

“Again, that’s not what I said,” Mulvaney replied. He went on to say that the United States held up the aid due to “rampant corruption” in Ukraine and concerns about European nations failing to help with foreign aid.

Wallace didn’t let up. He played the footage from Thursday’s briefing. Watch the exchange below:

Mulvaney also addressed Trump’s announcement on Twitter late Saturday that the G7 summit would not be held at the president’s Doral resort in Florida. In an effort to seemingly smooth over concerns about a conflict of interest on the president’s part, Mulvaney made matters worse for Trump by saying, “At the end of the day [the president] still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.” 

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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