Donald Trump says he ‘has a lot of confidence’ in Mick Mulvaney

Donald Trump says he ‘has a lot of confidence’ in Mick Mulvaney after his chief of staff first admits to withholding aid from Ukraine to get probe into ‘DNC server’ then denies he ever said it

  • Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Thursday said he held up military aid for Ukraine so that it would investigate ‘2016’ and Democratic server
  • He didn’t initially deny a quid pro quo, saying ‘Get over it’ 
  • He later tried to walk back the comments saying the investigation was never tied to the money
  • Trump said Thursday when asked if he had confidence in Mulvaney that he had a ‘lot of confidence’ 
  • Trump also called him a ‘good man’ and said he ‘did a very nice job’
  •   A source said Trump was ‘not happy’ Mulvaney’s TV performance

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was under fire Friday for his latest comments on Ukraine, with Democrats saying his remarks could feature in the Trump impeachment probe and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough saying he ‘pooped his pants’ in a televised briefing.

President Trump expressed ‘a lot of confidence’ in Mulvaney Thursday, hours after Mulvaney told critics to ‘get over it’ and said multiple times that he held up hundreds of millions in security aid to Ukraine to get it to investigate ‘corruption on the DNC server.’

‘We do that all the time with foreign policy. Get over it,’ Mulvaney said, brushing back concerns about a possible ‘quid pro quo.’   

‘The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate,’ said Mulvaney, confirming that the president ordered $390 million in Ukraine held up over the probe of the U.S. elections

Trump told reporters traveling with him as he toured a Louis Vuitton factory in Texas that he wasn’t able to see Mulveney’s press conference, where the former South Carolina congressman admitted to a ‘quid pro quo’ that Trump’s allies in Congress had been forcefully denying even after transcript of a a July phone call with the president of Ukraine revealed Trump raising both a Democratic server from 2016 and the Bidens. 

Asked by if he was aware Mulvaney said there was some sort of a quid pro quo, Trump responded: ‘No I heard – Somebody said he did a very nice job.’

‘You know what I’ve been focused on today very much [on] all of this. And also if you look [at] Turkey and the great thing that happened in Syria. I don’t know. But I think he’s a good man,’ Trump said. 

Asked if he had confidence in him, Trump didn’t hesitate: ‘I have a lot of confidence,’ he said.    

‘Morning Joe’ host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican House-member, said on Friday: ‘What do you do when somebody poops their pants in front of the press corps and then tries to take it back?’ 

‘I want to start with this Mick Mulvaney in the White House, because it was a confession. I will say it was like you had the Nixon tapes played out in front of the press for everyone to see because this was the smoking gun,’ Scarborough added.

‘Yesterday he admitted military aid was held up from an ally invaded by Vladimir Putin in return for chasing down presidential conspiracy theories,’ he said. Ukraine wanted the aid, which the White House ultimately released, as it fends off continued Russian aggression following the invasion and annexation of Crimea.

Mulvaney’s gave new fuel to Democrats pushing an impeachment inquiry that President Trump brands as a witch hunt.

“If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us,’ a senior Justice Department official told The Hill. 

Despite Trump’s expression of confidence in Mulvaney, a source close to the president told CNN Trump ‘was not happy’ with his acting chief of staff’s press briefing. 

Mulvaney provided the rare briefing after Trump departed the White House Thursday by motorcade due to a bad weather departure amid high wind, depriving him of the chance to talk to reporters on the South Lawn. 

Mulvaney said Thursday: ‘The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate.’

Pressed on holding up money to aid to get an investigation sought by the president, in a ‘quid pro quo’ for a probe of the DNC server, Mulvaney said: ‘We do that all the time with foreign policy.’ 

‘I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy,’ Mulvaney said. 

Hours later, Mulvaney said in a statement: ‘There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server.’ 

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has criticized Trump in the past, said there ‘absolutely was a concern’ following Mulvaney’s comments. ‘You don’t hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative.  Period,’ CNN reported.