Mulvaney Asked About 'Meeting That President Trump Was Dangling Over Vladimir Zelensky'

By Susan Jones | October 18, 2019 | 7:43am EDT
White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney speaks to reporters at the White Houseon October 17, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Listen to these two questions asked of Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Thursday:

(1) "Can you describe the role that you played in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens?" and (2) "Can you walk us through the meeting that President Trump was dangling over Vladimir Zelensky to have him right here at the White House? What were the preconditions of that meeting and was investigating Burisma one of them?"

Both questions assume guilt on the part of the Trump administration, but Mulvaney answered them.

The answer to the first question is "none," Mulvaney said. "I didn't have any--any--what was your question? What did I do to Ukraine or something? Nothing."

"Did you do anything to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens?" the reporter followed up:

"No," Mulvaney answered. "So what's the second question?" he asked.

The reporter repeated: "The second question is about the meeting that was supposed to happen here at the White House between the two presidents. Could you walk us through the discussions for that meeting? What was on the table for a precondition, and was the investigation of Burisma ever brought up as a condition to meet with President Trump?"

"No," Mulvaney said. "Not to me and not to anybody I know of. I was never in a conversation that--that had the word Burisma in it...or the Bidens. That never happened with me in there.

"But to the--to the larger point about the meeting, I think one of the things y'all have missed is the president didn't want to take the meeting. The president didn't want to have the phone call. That was...Mr. Rick Perry was pushing for that."

But President Trump told Zelensky on their phone call, I'll see you here at the White House, the reporter noted.

"At the end, yes," Mulvaney said, "but that's -- I think that was a courtesy that he was extending at the time. And he's not been here yet," Mulvaney noted.

"We get asked by foreign leaders all of the time to either come visit their country or to have them come visit here. And we try to be courteous and say yes. And some of them we are able to accomodate, and some of them we are not."

"But I do not remember...I don't remember a serious conversation about setting up an actual meeting. There were no dates discussed. There was not--I saw that as one of the typical pleasantries that we have, and I don't think it was 'dangling' a meeting or anything like that."


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