Former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said in a Friday interview that he believes those who testified against President Trump at his impeachment proceedings “had an ax to grind” against the president.
In an interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Mulvaney, now the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, scrutinized the testimonies given by several former and current administration officials during the investigation.
“Do I believe that all of those people who testified had an ax to grind against the President?” he asked. “I do. Do I believe all of them said things that are provably false? Yes, I do.”
In the same interview, Mulvaney also spoke about former national security adviser John Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened.”
When pressed by anchor Jim Sciutto about whether the accounts in the book are false, or contain classified information — as John Ratcliffe, Trump’s director of national intelligence, stated this week — Mulvaney said, “they could easily be both.”
“You could have some things in there that are false, and certainly the excerpts I’ve read, I’ve not seen the whole book, I’m not sure why I didn’t receive a courtesy copy of it,” he said. “I understand I’m in there several times over, but the excerpts that I’ve seen have been factually false, and it’s very likely or possible that the stuff we’ve not seen is classified.”
“I’m not involved in the process of screening that book,” he added. “That goes through the National Security Council that John Bolton used to run.”
Bolton’s allegations gave him a voice in the impeachment case against Trump in January, as the book’s earliest leaks claimed Trump told him military aid to Ukraine was being blocked until that country turned over information on former Vice President Joe Biden, and on whether Ukraine intervened in the 2016 election, according to The Washington Times.
Those claims were at the forefront of Democrats’ case, which accused Trump of using military aid to leverage Ukraine into opening investigations into Biden, now the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee.
To that end, Mulvaney said on CNN, “the phone conversation with Zelensky that started the impeachment process, was the lynchpin, was arranged by John Bolton. The meetings that took place at the United Nations General Assembly are arranged by the National Security Council. So if John Bolton was so worried — I think at one time he referred to a supposed drug deal that Mr. Sondland and I were somehow cooking up — if he was really concerned about that, why did he set up the meetings?”
“The Office of Management and Budget was intricately involved in the flow of money to Ukraine as was well litigated in the impeachment process. And at no point did the president tie political favors to the flow of that money. Restrictions revolved, as I mentioned, around the corruption of Ukraine and the participation of the other European nations,” he continued.
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