News

White House

Mulvaney Confirms Trump Withheld Aid to Pressure Ukraine to Investigate 2016 Election Interference

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney takes questions during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., October 17, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Thursday that President Trump ordered the State Department and Pentagon to withhold military aid to Ukraine in part to pressure the country to investigate interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

“The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about,” said Mulvaney during a press conference.

When a reporter pointed out that Mulvaney was describing a “quid pro quo” in withholding the military aid package, Mulvaney responded, “We do that all the time with foreign policy.”

“We were holding up money at the same for the Northern Triangle Countries [Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador]…so that they would change their policies on immigration,” Mulvaney continued.

However, Mulvaney denied that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine specifically to pressure the country to conduct investigations into Joe Biden.

President Trump is currently the subject of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats into whether he did in fact use military aid to pressure Ukraine to look into corruption allegations against Biden. In July, Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden, over a week after he halted the transfer of $391 million earmarked by Congress for Ukraine’s military.

Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani allege that Biden was involved in a conflict of interest while heading Ukraine policy as vice president.

Biden’s son Hunter sat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company which had been under investigation by then-Ukrainian prosecutor general Victor Shokin. In 2016, Joe Biden, at the behest of U.S. and European Union officials, pressured Ukraine to remove Shokin, who was himself accused of corruption.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Larry David Goes MAGA

For a liberal Democrat, Larry David sometimes comes off as America’s reactionary id. Last night, on a superb tenth-season opener of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David made an extended joke about the (in)famous Make America Great Again cap. To a certain extent, I think the joke here is on Larry David. David’s ... Read More
Film & TV

Larry David Goes MAGA

For a liberal Democrat, Larry David sometimes comes off as America’s reactionary id. Last night, on a superb tenth-season opener of Curb Your Enthusiasm, David made an extended joke about the (in)famous Make America Great Again cap. To a certain extent, I think the joke here is on Larry David. David’s ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More
Health Care

‘Reconsidering Fetal Pain’

Two researchers with “divergent views regarding the morality of abortion” have published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics concluding that unborn human beings likely are able to feel pain at an earlier point than previous research has suggested. The authors state that they “came together to write ... Read More