"Our apologies, Mick Mulvaney, you were probably right," said Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt in reaction to the latest revelations in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, was lambasted in the media last month after he appeared to acknowledge that President Trump asked for concessions from Ukraine in exchange for aid from the U.S. government.
"I don't know if you'll remember, but Mick Mulvaney had a press conference and it did not go well," remarked Stirewalt on Fox Nation's latest edition of "Halftime Report." "Basically what he said was, 'Yeah, there was a quid pro quo. It happens all the time.'"
Under questioning from White House reporters about the administration's dealings with Ukraine, Mulvaney said: "Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy," adding that "elections have consequences."
He later issued a statement saying that “there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”
On Tuesday, new deposition transcripts from the House Democrat-led investigation into the President were released. It showed that Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland revised his prior testimony to say that he told a top Ukrainian official that U.S. aid would likely not resume until the country issued a corruption statement on former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats have claimed that Sondland's revised testimony constitutes acknowledgment of a quid pro quo.
"The original standpoint for the president was the [July 25] call [with Zelensky] was perfect," said Stirewalt. "Everything is fine and there was no quid pro quo. No quid pro quo. We heard it a billion times. And then Mulvaney said the thing and then Mulvaney tried to walk it back. Maybe Mulvaney was right."
"There's a term of art that came into the lexicon of presidential scandal during the Watergate, which was to 'brazen it out,'" explained Stirewalt. "To 'brazen it out' ... is just to say, like, 'whatever'. And a lot of politicians have learned the lesson. Certainly when confronted with medium-sized stuff, sometimes the best answer is to say, 'Yeah, well, whatever.'"
Stirewalt argued that is, in fact, the position that is already being taken by members of the President's party.
Rep. Tom Cole R-Okla., told NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday, "I look at it this way: The aid is there and the investigations didn’t happen ... So if there was a quid pro quo, it certainly wasn’t a very effective one.”
"We heard Tom Cole ... and others basically say, 'Look, yeah, it was an attempted quid pro quo, but the money eventually did flow and the dirt was apparently not provided,'" Stirewalt said. "'The prosecution was not undertaken. So it was a botched effort at a quid pro quo. So that's not worthy of removing the president from office.'"
"From a political standpoint, the president enjoys 85 percent approval among Republicans," concluded Stirewalt. "There's an election coming up. Impeachment is a tough tote. And maybe Mulvaney was right."
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