(NBC News) Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney issued a statement Thursday walking back shocking comments he’d made during a briefing earlier in the day.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mulvaney said that Ukraine military aid was withheld in part because President Trump wanted the country to investigate “corruption” in the 2016 election.
“I have news for everybody, get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said when pressed on the issue.
His comments reportedly “stunned” the White House legal team.
His later statement contradicted those claims, saying “There was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”
The original comments, and quick reversal, drew sharp criticism.
“Mick Mulvaney was either lying then or he’s lying now. I think he’s lying now,” said California’s Representative Ted Lieu.
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