McClintock appeared on ABC’s This Week to discuss the ongoing impeachment investigation.
Host Martha Raddatz began the discussion by pointing out that House Democrats claim Trump had a quid pro quo agreement with the Ukrainian government.
The president allegedly froze military aid in order to pressure the Ukrainians to investigate his political opponents and only released it after being briefed about the White House whistleblower complaint.
According to McClintock, however, “several weeks went by before that aid was released,” which suggests that the decision to release it had nothing to do with the complaint.
“The implication is that this is an admission of guilt because the president found out about the whistleblower complaint and then immediately released that aid. That’s not what happened,” he said.
Raddatz posited that Trump may have been “covering his tracks” by calling the United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, to whom he reportedly said he wanted no quid pro quo.
The lawmaker argued that Trump did not have a quid pro quo agreement with the Ukrainians, asserting that none of the impeachment witnesses confirmed that such an agreement existed.
When asked whether there is anything troubling about Trump’s contacts with Ukraine, McClintock pointed to the president’s language and tone.
According to the GOP lawmaker, Trump does not talk like a diplomat because he has a background in business.
According to McClintock, Trump “didn’t use the delicate language of diplomacy” during his conversations.
“He also doesn’t use the smarmy talk of politicians. What you hear from Donald J. Trump is the blunt talk of a Manhattan businessman,” the Congressman said.
“He says what he means, he means what he says,” he stated, arguing that the president was acting “entirely within his constitutional authority.”
According to Democrats in the House of Representatives, Trump froze military aid in order to force Ukraine to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The president did so, Democrats claim, in order to damage Biden’s 2020 presidential bid.
Republicans in the United States Congress have defended Trump against Democratic accusations, taking aim at top Democrats in the lower chamber.
Multiple Trump administration officials are implicated in the Ukraine scandal, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. According to recently-released State Department documents, Pompeo worked together with the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and other Democrats.