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.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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