House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN Friday that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney made a “confession” when he told reporters the White House held up military aid to Ukraine until that country agreed to investigate Democrats and that President Donald Trump’s critics should “get over it.”
Pelosi said Mulvaney’s comments are an example of the White House trying to normalize lawlessness.
“The President and his team for a long time have tried to make a lawlessness normal and even make lawlessness a virtue,” Pelosi said, when asked if she considered Mulvaney’s comments an admission of an illegal quid pro quo.
“What he said was, of course, a confession, but it’s also a cavalier attitude of get over it,” she added. “It’s so disrespectful of our Constitution, and it’s just not the way our founders expected.”
Mulvaney made the admission Thursday by confirming that Trump froze nearly $400 million in US security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats. “That’s why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said after listing a 2016-related investigation and Trump’s broader concerns about corruption in Ukraine.
Mulvaney later tried to walk back his comments, issuing a statement that there was no quid pro quo with the Ukrainian government.
Mulvaney made those comments at a White House briefing room news conference after announcing next year’s G7 summit will take place at the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami, a controversial decision that could allow Trump to profit off hosting the high-profile international economic summit.
Pelosi also sharply rebuked Trump for that decision: “That’s completely out of the question.”
The California Democrat then slipped onto the floor without answering if the House would try to block the summit being held there.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia and a senior member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is involved in the impeachment investigation of the President, said the G7 arrangement would violate a constitutional restriction on the President taking gifts from foreign governments.
“The fact that they are doing it so brazenly doesn’t make it proper,” Connolly said. “It’s still improper and, from my point of view, a violation of the emoluments clause.”