The fake “Ukrainegate” scandal fire got some gasoline thrown on it by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday when he admitted something that everyone in the Washington press corps knows already: Presidents use their influence to extract favors and concessions from the leaders of foreign countries when it suits them.
In other words, Mulvaney — according to the very same media — “admitted” that President Trump engaged in a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine by withholding $400 million in direct military aid unless that government gave him “dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Only, that’s not really what Mulvaney said, though even if it was, it’s not as if he’s wrong about his assertion that ‘every president does it.’
You may recall some weeks ago when a so-called CIA “whistleblower” came forward to claim that Trump, in a July phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, threatened to withhold the aid unless Zelensky gave him Biden dirt.
That didn’t actually happen. The president never demanded that quid pro quo, as evidenced by the transcript of the phone call the White House released.
But in a previous call with Ukraine in May, Mulvaney said the president held up “corruption related to” the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee’s email server, which the national media is calling a “conspiracy theory” — though it isn’t.
“Did he also mention to me in past the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely,” Mulvaney said. “No question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money.”
What he’s saying is that President Trump was concerned about the historic corruption in Ukraine not at all related to the Bidens or to the Democratic Party — and that’s the primary reason why he delayed sending Ukraine the $400 million.
Confusing? Probably. But suffice it to say that none of what President Trump has done regarding Ukraine is wrong, improper, or unique. In fact, it’s been done often throughout our history.
And that includes when Barack Obama was president.
We know — and so does the pathetically dishonest “mainstream media” — that Joe Biden was Obama’s point man on Ukraine, which became a foreign policy priority for the previous administration even before Russia invaded the Crimea and began backing separatists in the country’s east.
Everyone knows that Hunter Biden, the VP’s son, managed to land a $50,000-per-month job on the board of a corrupt gas company known as Burisma Holdings.
We all know that company was under investigation for corruption by Ukraine’s equivalent of our attorney general. And we know that Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in monetary assistance from Ukraine if the country didn’t fire the prosecutor investigating the company where Hunter Biden worked.
We know that because Joe Biden bragged about it during an event in 2018 sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations — bragging that was captured on video.
As for the Trump administration, Mulvaney said there was nothing improper because all administrations use whatever levers of power and influence they can pull, including economic influence, when dealing with foreign powers.
“I have news for everybody, get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said.
The difference now, of course, is that Obama isn’t in office any longer and Trump is — and everything Trump does, even if it’s the same thing every other president has done — is illegal and improper until proven otherwise.
As for the “conspiracy theory” surrounding the DNC email server, Breitbart News reminds us that CrowdStrike examined it, not the FBI’s cyber-forensics team because the DNC refused to turn it over to the Feds. Also, Breitbart notes that Crowdstrike “was founded by Ukrainian Dmitri Alperovitch (now an American citizen) and funded by Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.”
Nothing to see there. Just a ‘conspiracy theory.’