U.S. President Donald Trump’s acting Chief-of-Staff Mick Mulvaney committed a huge gaff in a televised press conference Thursday. It became big news that could have created further evidence for the impeachment proceedings against the president in Congress and perhaps further legal jeopardy for Mr. Trump.
According to reports of Republican sources who attended a White House prep meeting for that press conference, Mulvaney was expected to speak only about the recent decision by President Trump to pull back U.S. military ground forces in northeastern Syria.
About two weeks ago, Trump had phoned Turkey’s President Erdogan and agreed to do this so that Erdogan could send Turkish troops into that region to attack the Kurds and drive them out of the region. The U.S. had been helping those Kurds fight ISIS, a radical and very militant Islamic organization committed to forcefully reestablishing the ancient Islamic caliphate in the Middle East. ISIS is even a danger to the Free World. Trump is now being highly criticized by Congressional members of his own Republican Party for this decision which aligns with objectives of not only Turkey but Russia and Iran as well.
But Mulvaney did not stay on this track in his press conference. Instead, he mentioned the Ukraine debacle as well. That is about President Trump on July 25th this summer having phoned Ukraine’s President Zelensky and asked him to “do us a favor” by investigating a U.S. political rival, Joe Biden and his son, about their past activities in Ukraine. Trump also had mentioned to Zelensky one of Trump’s long-held conspiracy theories which has been largely debunked. It is that during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, an email server owned by the Democratic National Committee had been spirited out of the country and taken to Ukraine for safe keeping. It supposedly contained many emails that were politically detrimental to Hilary Clinton, the Democratic nominee who was campaigning against Republican Trump.
Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, finally announced three weeks ago impeachment proceedings based mostly on recent revelation of this Trump phone call to Zelensky. Trump had issued publicly an edited transcript of that phone call. Ever since, there has been much controversy as to whether Trump committed a quid pro quo in which he indicated that he had been withholding most of the $391 million military aid package to Ukraine, which had been determined by Congress, as pressure exerted on Ukraine President Zelensky to provide detrimental evidence against Trump’s political rivals. The U.S. Constitution seems to say such an act would fall under the category of “crimes and misdemeanors” for impeaching a president.Mulvaney admitted that that is indeed what President Trump did even though he had constantly denied this publicly ever since he released the phone call transcript. Thus, Mulvaney seemed to not understand that he was totally disagreeing with what Trump has been saying, indicating that Trump had been lying about it. Mulvaney then said of U.S. politicians committing quid pro quo, “We do that all the time. Get over it.” He made other statements in which he admitted that this was the president’s motive.
Mulvaney’s comments unleashed a maelstrom among not only Democrats but members of his own Republican Party. Hours later, Mulvaney tried publicly and non-effectively to walk back his recent comments. He even seized on the ridiculous accusation that the media had misrepresented his comments while a video of him making his remarks shows clearly that the media had been doing no such thing. Trump strangely said later that he approved of Mulvaney’s performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mulvaney is soon escorted out the door.
Today, this Mulvaney press conference was being discussed on the MSNBC television program “Weekends with Alex Witt.” They said some Trump supporters are now wearing T-shirts that say, “GET OVER IT.” This reveals how brazenly bold Trump and his base can be about admitting Trump’s questionable illegal activity. One of the commentators on the program then said in jest, “GET ON WITH IT.” I think anti-Trump folks should now make and wear a T-shirt that says on the back of it, “GET ON WITH IT,” which refers to Congress impeaching the president.