November 12, 2019

Mick Mulvaney's Surprising Honesty

“Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, wants to change his story about Ukraine. On Thursday, at a press briefing, Mulvaney confirmed that when President Donald Trump suspended military aid to Ukraine in July, one reason was that Trump wanted Ukraine to help investigate Trump’s domestic opponents for conspiring against him in the 2016 election. “I was involved with the process by which the money was held up,” Mulvaney told reporters. There were “three issues for that,” he explained: “the corruption of the country; whether or not other countries were participating in the support of the Ukraine; and whether [Ukrainian officials] were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice.”

A few hours after the briefing, prodded by Trump, his lawyers, and other administration officials, Mulvaney tried to take back his confession. “The media has decided to misconstrue my comments,” he declared in a formal statement. “There was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”

But Mulvaney can’t take back the story he told at the briefing, because it wasn’t a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of what somebody else told him. No one was more personally involved in the aid suspension than Mulvaney. No one heard the president state his motives more often or more clearly. Mulvaney is the most direct witness. What he said at the briefing is eyewitness testimony.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"When Hong Kong’s protests broke out in June, I was 5,000 miles away in Copenhagen. I saw headlines but was ignorant of the scale and complexity of what has become a de facto war against creeping authoritarianism. It was only through a chance..."

"In his new Netflix comedy special “Lobby Baby,” Seth Meyers allows viewers to avoid his political jokes: Those who tune in to the special have the choice, about 40 minutes in, of hitting the “skip politics” button (not unlike the “skip intro..."

"Climate denialism is back. For decades, denialists rejected truths about the environment: the link between carbon emissions and global warming, the human role in rising emissions, and the adequacy of climate modeling. That old form of denialism..."

"At 78 I should probably be sipping wine with friends in a “senior living community” or gazing at the sunset from a cruise ship. Instead I sit in my daughter’s New York apartment, waiting for my 5-year-old grandson to scream “Ninja warrior!” and..."

"The world’s biggest shopping event occurs every year on November 11, and most Americans are only vaguely aware of it. Called Singles Day, shoppers in the US don’t look forward to it the way they anticipate Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day, but..."

"If you spend any time on Twitter, it was all but impossible to avoid being barraged a few weeks back with a seemingly unending thread from one of the biggest companies in the world. The official account for Disney+, the long-touted streaming..."

"While on a speaking tour abroad, a Holocaust survivor told me his heartbreaking story and explained with tears of joy why Israel is a living miracle. The tears turned into ones of sadness when he shared that his only son, born when he was 50..."

"There are many reasons to worry about the size and power of big technology firms. The biggest firms like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google dominate their markets, collect our data, and in many cases sell it to advertisers. They lobby..."