Mulvaney Admits Quid Pro Quo, Says We Should “Get Over It”

Mick Mulvaney

White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyEvan Vucci/AP

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, for some reason, has just admitted that aid to Ukraine was held up because President Trump wanted them to investigate political opponents:

There are probably a few people who genuinely don’t understand the distinction here. Luckily, I’m here to help. Consider the following two cases:

CASE 1: “If we lift the embargo on Cuba, it will hurt us with the Cuban immigrant vote in Florida. We shouldn’t do it.”

CASE 2: “I want Ukraine to investigate Democrats. We should hold up military aid until they promise to do it.”

Mulvaney is right: presidents do #1 all the time. Domestic politics invariably affects foreign policy, sometimes crassly and sometimes not.

But #2? Presidents absolutely don’t do that all the time. This is not “domestic politics.” It’s using the official power of the US government to force a foreign country to smear a political opponent.

The only way to not see the difference between these two cases is to deliberately close your eyes and refuse to see it. They are night and day. What Trump has done with Ukraine is very clearly not something that happens “all the time” in foreign policy. Until now, in fact, it never happened.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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