Last month at a train wreck press conference, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney attempted to shrug off evidence of the Trump administration trying to leverage military aid to force Ukraine to conduct an investigation into a conspiracy theory on the 2016 election that Trump routinely disseminates.
“We do that all the time with foreign policy,” Mulvaney said, when asked how that exchange could be interpreted as anything but a quid pro quo.
Mulvaney backtracked after the presser, putting out a statement claiming that the only reason that the U.S. withheld the money was concern that President Volodymyr Zelensky would not aggressively enough pursue his country’s widespread corruption.
During Wednesday’s public hearing, Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor neatly poked a hole in Mulvaney’s “business as usual” defense.
Democrats’ staff attorney Daniel Goldman asked: “Ambassador Taylor, in your decade of military service and diplomatic service representing the United States around the world, have you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the President of the United States?
“No, Mr. Goldman. I have not,” Taylor responded.
Taylor testifies that he has never before seen “another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the President of the United States” pic.twitter.com/LenkhNKs5G
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) November 13, 2019
Taylor is a career state department official who worked specifically as ambassador to Ukraine once before, from 2006 to 2009.