For 39 minutes on Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvani turns the press review room into a kind of confessional chamber, openly acknowledging several acts that may exacerbate the president's legal impediment. Trump is facing an impeachment investigation into whether he abused his office for personal and political gain.
Mulwyn's response to these allegations entered into a tripartite mantra, which is now the central theme of the White House's impeachment response: "Get over it. "
Recognizing that Trump personally intervened to award a multimillion-dollar meeting to his own company and that the president also used taxpayer money as a lever to stimulate the Democrats' Ukrainian inquiry, Mulvani adopted the classic troupe tactics: he says
But this strategy against Ukraine came to grips with criticism after Mulvani's appearance and he later tried to return his comments, in a statement late Thursday. quid pro quo
While Mulvani was briefed to announce the G-7 site in 2020, his most important comments came when he described why Trump intervened in the summer, about to block nearly $ 400 million of Congressional aid to Ukraine Democrats are examining Ukraine's unorthodox policies as part of their impeachment investigation, and several members of the Trump administration have said they are uncomfortable with the use of diplomatic pressure from the president for the obvious and political goals.
Prime Minister Mulvani said the president was blocking aid because he was concerned about corruption in Ukraine and lack of European support for the country. And then he pointed out that the president's political interests also played a role.
"Did you mention [Trump] in the past corruption related to the DNC server?" He said. ̵
1; Absolutely, no question about that. But this is why we kept the money. "
The reference to the hacking server of the Democratic National Committee raised Trump-backed conspiracy theory that Ukraine had participated in the 2016 election, something that has been repeatedly credited to Russia by US intelligence agents.
Recognizing that Trump linked politics to his politics in Ukraine, Mulvain said that critics were simply overreacting.
"I have news for everyone: Overcome it," he said. "There will be political influence in foreign policy."
Reviews of Mulvani's performance came quickly and even the president's allies were impressed by his approach to recognition. Comments were widely mocked in the West Wing, and he began a multi-day battle to issue a new statement according to White House officials.
"Totally inexplicable," says one GOP MP who, like others,  spoke on condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment. "He literally said what the president and everyone else said didn't happen."
Trump repeatedly states that "there is no quid pro quo" in his dealings with Ukraine, which also includes a request by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to is investigating. Former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter
In a statement, distancing himself from earlier comments, Mulvani blames the media and voices Trump's denial of the quid pro quo.
"The president never told me to keep the money until the Ukrainians did something related to the server," Mulvani said.
But during a news briefing, he replied in the affirmative when asked if there was a quid pro quo and said, "We are doing this constantly with foreign policy."
A preparatory session held at Mulwani's office before a press conference with White House lawyers and press officials, as well as State Department officials, focused primarily on G7 issues, according to two officials familiar with the meeting.
"Nobody expected him to go there and say what he said," one of the people said regarding his comments in Ukraine.
The Justice Department also distanced itself from Mulvey's claim that Trump's request  "If the White House has refused assistance in cooperating with an investigation in the Justice Department, this is news to us," said a Justice Department official. speaking on condition of anonymity, that contradicts acting W
"I think Mulvaney should rethink anything in front of a microphone," says Chris Whipple, author of The Gatekeepers, a book about former White House chiefs of staff. early on at a briefing, Mulvaney tried to defend Trump's decision to choose Trump's Doral Miami Golf Resort for the G7 summit, an unprecedented move condemned by good governance groups could require seven global leaders and hundreds of employees to spend money owned by Trump. Trump is already facing lawsuits for allegedly violating the Constitution's ban on receiving "retaliation" from foreign governments.
"Anticipating your questions, how is this not a violation of retribution? Will the President take advantage of this? "Mulvani said. "I think the president made it pretty clear as he came here that he didn't profit from being here."
While not working on legal matter, Mulvaney continued to praise the amenities of the property during at the TV briefing, citing its 900 acres, three golf courses and "perfect" common areas. He rejected arguments that the financially struggling resort would benefit from the publicity that comes with holding a prestigious summit.
"Doral was by far and away the best physical facility for this meeting," Mulvani said.
Claiming that the administration had viewed 10 sites before electing its own president, Mulvaney quoted an anonymous site selection officer who agreed with his effusive assessment.
"They said, 'Mick, you won't believe this, but it's almost like they built this facility to host this type of event,'" he said.
The silent said no other sites were checked. he said how Trump's property got on the property listing in question: Trump offered it.
"We had the list, and he goes, 'What about Doral?'" Mulvey said, recalling the president's comments at the White House Dining Room. so – that's not the craziest idea. "
After a nationwide search, Trump administration officials chose and Otto proposed by Trump, Mulvain told reporters.
Whipple said that Mulvey's strategy was to try to normalize unorthodox behavior by making "insane" appear to be common.
"Trump's actions are not subject to protection, so the answer is "Let's act as normal," he said. "There is nothing normal about this."
The Twins of Mulvani on Thursday put him in step with some of the president's own officials, noting the GOP's unified approach as Trump faces impeachment nt.
Several State Department officials have said Congressional investigators have opposed Trump's push to give his personal lawyer Rudolf W. Giuliani a central role in Ukraine's politics. Mulvani said there was nothing wrong with that. While Trump's elected ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sundland, told Congress that he was uncomfortable with the role of Giuliani, Mulvani offered a rebuttal to the White House press room.
"You may not like the fact that Giuliani is involved. That's great, that's good, "he said, referring to Sondland's testimony at the same time on Thursday." This is not illegal. This is not impossible.
Few Republicans publicly supported Trump's move to host the G7 on his own property, and some have actively opposed it.
Ari Fleisher, who was White House press secretary George W. Bush said Trump's decision on the G7 was "obscene "
" Keeping the G-7 owned by Trump is one of the most stupid, obscene things ha they could do, "he wrote on Twitter." The president enjoys lifting red flags in front of the bulls, but this fight is not worth it. "
Josh Dawsey and Matt Zapotoski contributed to this report.