Yesterday, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted on national TV that Donald Trump had attempted to use vital military aide to extort Ukraine into investigating Democrats. Mulvaney made a valiant attempt to un-admit that in a statement issued hours later, but the damage was already done.
For some Republicans on Capitol Hill, Mulvaney’s offense wasn’t the fact of the quid pro quo; it was that he was honest enough, albeit briefly, to acknowledge it. Here are a couple of GOP aides bravely using anonymity to tell Politico that Mulvaney should “stop talking”:
Republicans lawmakers felt exasperated by the White House’s lack of discipline and coordination. “Mulvaney needs to learn when to stop talking,” a leadership aide told POLITICO. Democrats latched onto Mulvaney’s statements as further evidence of what they consider White House wrongdoing out in the open.
“He was deeply, deeply unhelpful,” said another House GOP aide.
But other Republicans did acknowledge the damning nature of what Mulvaney had revealed, as Politico noted:
“It’s not an etch a sketch,” Republican Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida said about Mulvaney’s comments. “It is kind of hard to argue that he didn’t say it, right? if I understood it correctly, he basically cleared up what was a matter of some vagueness that he basically said it was a quid pro quo.”
“You don’t hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative. Period,” added Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Today, John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio, took the criticism of Trump a step further. Kasich, who ran against Trump in the 2016 primary and has been an outspoken critic of the president, announced that because of the Mulvaney revelations, he now supports impeaching Trump. “It’s totally inappropriate,” Kasich said. “It’s an abuse of power.”
After hearing Mulvaney's comments, I now believe that @realDonaldTrump should be impeached by the US House and face a trial in the US Senate.
This is not a decision I've made lightly, but it's clear now that a line was crossed. This is an abuse of power. Action must be taken. pic.twitter.com/5p3QGmp8YN
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) October 18, 2019