BFF-31 Trump aide Mulvaney says was ‘absolutely not’ asked to resign

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US-POLITICS

Trump aide Mulvaney says was ‘absolutely not’ asked to resign

WASHINGTON, Oct 20, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Top White House aide Mick Mulvaney
said Sunday he has “absolutely not” been asked to resign over his public
admission that Donald Trump had tied military aid for Ukraine to Kiev’s
opening a probe into the Democrats.

Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, walked back that admission only
hours after making it Thursday, and on Sunday he again revised his
explanation of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr
Zelensky, playing down any linkage to a political investigation.

But Mulvaney’s original admission — that “we held up the money” partly to
secure Ukraine’s promise to investigate a conspiracy theory that the US
Democratic National Committee’s hacked computer server was now in Ukraine —
proved explosive, and on “Fox News Sunday” he was asked whether he had
offered to resign.

“Absolutely not,” Mulvaney said.

Asked whether he even discussed the matter with Trump, he repeated,
“Absolutely not.”

Mulvaney’s original admission had provoked a storm of criticism from
Democrats and caused consternation and head-shaking among Republicans as
well.

After saying Thursday that “we held up the money” for three reasons
including the DNC matter, on Sunday he listed only two: concern over
corruption in Ukraine and questions about European aid to that country.

Mulvaney said once the US satisfied itself about Kiev’s cracking down on
internal corruption and the Europeans’ providing adequate aid proved that
those were the only relevant demands and were “legitimate for the president
to do.”

The aid to Ukraine was in fact released only after members of Congress
from both parties raised concern about it being mysteriously held up.

At around the same time, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff
was beginning to ask questions about a whistleblower report that the
administration was refusing to turn over to Congress.

The whistleblower report, which was eventually made public, detailed for
the first time an alleged quid pro quo in Trump’s July 23 conversation with
Zelensky.

Mulvaney has repeatedly played down Trump’s requests to Zelensky to
investigate former US Vice President Joe Biden, a possible Democratic rival
in 2020, and his son Hunter.

A former conservative congressman, Mulvaney has served as acting chief of
staff since January. He also serves as director of the Office of Management
and Budget.

BSS/AFP/FI/ 2145 hrs