In a startling admission, Donald Trump’s acting Chief of Staff, Muck Mulvaney, on Thursday said that Trump held back nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to pressure that country to investigate a long-discredited conspiracy theory. The theory revolves around a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee. The admission by Mulvaney clearly acknowledged a “quid pro quo,” with Trump trying to force Ukraine to help him politically, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Mulvaney later attempted to reverse course, issuing a statement denying that any “quid pro quo” existed in exchange for the military aid, which had been allocated by Congress. But Mulvaney’s original statement appeared clear.
“Did [Trump] also mention to me in the past the corruption related to the DNC server?” Mulvaney said, as quoted by The Washington Post. “Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money.”
Mulvaney went on to add that critics of Trump’s use of “political influence in foreign policy,” should simply, “get over it.”
Despite his later attempt at a walk-back, Mulvaney’s blunt admission that Trump leveraged lawfully allocated military aid for personal political gain was met with shocked incredulity by critics, including former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner.
Kirschner, in an MSNBC interview seen in the video below, called Mulvaney’s assertions “game over” for Trump.
“That’s a confession,” Kirschner told MSNBC host Ari Melber, as quoted by Raw Story. “It should be conviction in the Senate and removal — game over and hello, President Pence.”
Kirschner dismissed Mulvaney’s later denial of the “quid pro quo” as “an indication of just how damaging that accurate confession really is.”
As The Inquisitr has detailed, Trump appears to fully embrace the “DNC server” conspiracy theory that has no basis in fact. In reality, no such single server exists, and it appears to have originated on the extremist internet message forum 4Chan.
At one point, in statements to reporters on Wednesday, Trump mentioned “the server” eight times in one 24-second monologue. In his July 25 phone call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate “the DNC server,” which the president said was now in the possession of “one of your wealthy people.” It was the call that sparked the current impeachment inquiry into the president for his attempts to improperly pressure Ukraine for his own, domestic political gain.
In reality, as a BuzzFeed News investigation found, the mysterious server, which according to the debunked conspiracy theory contains evidence exonerating Russia of the 2016 election hacking attacks, is not real. Instead, the DNC data was stored on 140 different “cloud” computers that were simply decommissioned in 2016.