White House Aide Mulvaney Reiterates, No Ukraine Money Link to Political Investigations

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Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said, "That's just absurd".

"I think they're lousy politicians", Trump said of Democrats during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

"The Democrats went insane, even though I would have done it free", the president continued, again suggesting he has not given up control of his business empire.

Menendez said Pelosi stayed restrained until Trump "continued to belittle her" and other Democrats.

Some Republicans such as Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, dismissed questions from reporters about whether it was appropriate for the president to use his own property for government business.

Before taking office, Trump said he would turn over his business to a trust administered by his family and business associates, and he posed with a desk piled with papers that he claimed ratified that arrangement. Mulvaney did not explain how his boss could promise the use of his resort for free or at cost if he no longer managed it directly, but in an interview on Fox News Sunday Mulvaney observed that "at the end of the day he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business".

That immediately provoked a backlash from Democrats and government watchdogs. "The President enjoys waiving red flags in front of bulls, but this fight isn't worth it".

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During Tuesday's Democratic primary debate, Biden said that his son "did nothing wrong" and that he is "proud of the judgment" he made.

Wallace challenged Mulvaney on that point, saying that he believed "that anyone listening to what you said in that briefing could only come to one conclusion".

On Thursday, Mulvaney said he was only aware of Trump's desire to have Ukraine look into the hacked DNC servers, but texts among State Department officials apparently reveal a plan that tried to get Ukraine to commit to investigating Ukrainian energy company Burisma, on whose board 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden's son, Hunter, served. "I don't need promotion", he said, again suggesting he is being made aware of the state of his businesses.

The congressionally approved USA security aid that Trump had withheld was meant to help Ukraine deal with Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country. "When did they start talking about that?"

Barack and Michelle Obama signed a joint book deal for a reported $65 million in March 2017, two months after Trump's inauguration; they signed production deal with Netflix in May 2018 - more than a year after leaving office.

He promised more open hearings after an initial wave of closed hearings because there is no special counsel investigation into the Trump relationship with Ukraine, making it especially important that witnesses can not see other witness' testimony and alter their own statements to lawmakers.

John Kennedy weighs in on combative meeting between Speaker Pelosi and President Trump.

Trump donor Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, told impeachment investigators last week that Trump ordered him and other diplomats to work with the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukraine into investigations that could help Trump politically. "But I never said there was a quid pro quo because there isn't".

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