White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney made a stunning admission by confirming that President Donald Trump froze nearly $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats.
Mulvaney insisted that he only knew of a US request to investigate the handling of a Democratic National Committee server hacked in the 2016 election, but text messages between US diplomats show efforts to get Ukraine to commit to an investigation into Burisma, the company on whose board former Vice President Joe Biden's son sat. There is no evidence of wrongdoing in Ukraine by either Biden.
"That's why we held up the money," Mulvaney said after listing the 2016-related investigation and Trump's broader concerns about corruption in Ukraine.
After weeks during which Trump denied the existence of any political quid pro quo in his withholding of security aid to Ukraine, Mulvaney confirmed the existence of a quid pro quo and offered this retort: "Get over it."