Mick Mulvaney Briefing Transcript: "Get Over It" Regarding Ukraine Quid Pro Quo - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

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Hi, guys. How are you? First things first comment very briefly on Mr. Cummings passing. For those you who know, I was in Congress for a couple years with Mr. Cummings and on the committee with him, I had a chance to work with him on a day in, day out basis. And he would he will be missed. He was he was a classy guy. And I enjoyed working with him. And the condolences from my family and all the White House group to his family today.

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He will be he will be sorely missed. Now, getting out of this is at hand, I understand, but a fairly slow Newsweek so that we didn't lose a couple of things. I didn't want to come out here if my nationals hat on, but they told me that that would violate some type of rules. I couldn't do that. I was also gonna to wear my Montreal Expos hat and they said that would be foreign interference in the World Series.

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We can't do that either. So we're going to talk about the G7. We're talk about we're going to do it. We're going to announce today that we're going to do the 46 G7 summit on June 10th through June 12th at the Trump National Doral facility in Miami, Florida. The focus of the event will be global growth and challenges to the global economy. Specifically, we're dealing with things like rejuvenating incentives for growth and prosperity, rolling back prosperity, killing regulations, ending trade barriers and reopening energy markets are taking a lot of what we have been doing here domestically with such success and trying to encourage the rest of the world to get on board as we sit here and our economy does so well.

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You look all across the world right now and the rest of the world is either at or near recession. And we really do think that we have hit on a formula that works not only here, but they would work overseas, where you take the G7 as the opportunity to try and convince other nations that they can have the same successes by following the same model. Now, let's talk about the site selection process, because I know you folks left some questions about that.

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How do we go about doing this? First? Well, we use a lot of the same criteria that have been used by past administrations as a long list of the accommodations on site that the the ballroom's bilateral rooms, a number of rooms, the photo ops, the support hotels that are there, the proximity to cities and airports, helicopter landing zones, medical facilities, et cetera. So we use the same set of criteria that previous administrations have used.

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We started with a list of about a dozen just on paper and we sent an advance team out to actually visit 10 locations in several states. We visited California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. We got that list down to just under 10. And the advance team went out to visit those. And from there, we got down to four finalists that our senior team went out to look at. They looked at I think it was one in Hawaii, two in Utah, and then the more Largo facility in Florida.

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And it became apparent at the end of that process that Darrell was by far and away, far and away the best physical facility for this meeting. In fact, I was talking to one of the advanced teams when they came back and I saw it was like instant make you not going to believe this, but it's almost like they built this facility to host this type of event. And any of you have been there, you know that there's there's separate buildings with their own rooms, separate apart from each building, so that one country can have a building another you have another.

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You folks can have your building for the press. And obviously the common areas are going to be perfect for our needs down there. Again, anticipating your questions, how is this how is this not an emoluments violation? How well is the president going to profit from this? I think the president has pretty much made it very clear since he's got here that he doesn't profit from being here. He has no interest in profit from being here. It's one of the reasons that he's not taken a salary since he's been here, is given that salary to charity will not be profiting here.

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We had talked about the possibility of whether or not the president could actually do it at no cost. There stand there's difficulties with doing it that way. But we're also difficulties, obviously, if they charge market rates. So they're doing this at cost as a result has actually been dramatically cheaper for us to do it at Doral as compared to the the other final sites that we had. So we're looking forward to that, to that, to that to that meeting again, June 10th through 12th of next year for the 46 G7.

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Now, my guess is with that official part of the briefing finished, there's going to be some questions about a variety of things that are going on the world. So if we can do something together, that would be great. Can we take the questions about the G7? First go through those. Then they would take a chance, maybe ask a couple of questions about the other stuff before before the end of the day.

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And so is this not just an enormous conflict of interest in the president of the G7 home resource? How will the president continue to criticize the Biden family for self-dealing at the same time he's doing this?

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OK. Couple of different things. First off, you're not making any profit. I think we've already established that. I think some. Opportunity is a huge I've heard yeah, I've heard that I've heard that before. You know, I guess I've been the chief now for about nine or 10 months. And I always hear whenever we go to Mar a Lago, it's a huge branding opportunity every place, you know. At Trump Mar a Lago, we play golf at Trump Bedminster.

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He goes play golf at Trump up in Sterling and everybody asks questions about a huge marketing opportunity. I would simply ask you all to consider the possibility that Donald's Donald Trump's brand is probably strong enough as it is. He doesn't need any more help on that.

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This is not like it's it's the most recognizable name in the English language and probably around the world right now. So now that's that has nothing to do with it. That's why I listen. I was skeptical. I was I was I was aware of the political sort of criticism that we come under for doing it at Doral, which is why I was so surprised when when they advanced him, called back and said that this is the perfect physical location to do this.

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So I get the criticisms. So does he face it? He be criticized regardless of what he chose to do? But now there's no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form. What's the difference between this and what we're talking about, the Bidens? Well, first of all, no profit here. Clearly, there's profit. The Bidens and second. Well, I think if there's one difference as you look at between the Trump family and the Biden family, Trump family made their money before they went to politics.

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That's a big difference, sir.

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Do you think it can be done in cost? Do you have any idea, estimate how much money you're looking at? And also will remain a G-7?

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Yeah, I don't have the numbers in terms of the costs. I do know that it was there was one of the ones I saw was it was almost half as much here. I don't want to butcher the numbers, but it was millions of dollars cheaper by doing it at Doral than it was at another facility that was roughly 50 percent savings. As to the G7 G8. Look at that discussion is ongoing. The president has been very candid about that, about whether or not he wants to have Russia join the G7 again, that used to be members of that organization.

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And I think he's been fairly straightforward, not only to you folks, but to other leaders around the world, which is we go to the G7 and what dominates so much of the discussion, Russia and Russian energy, Russian Russian military policy, the Russian economy, it dominates a lot of the discussion. Wouldn't it be better to have them inside and have it as part of those conversations? But I think that decision will be made later and we'll continue to review it.

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It's meant for decades to happen. This is the best place to hold it. Surely there were other places that this could be held. And you can't make the argument the president's not going to profit because we can't know how much he might profit in the future. Right.

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Yeah. To your first point of getting, I think it is the profit. Once again, he's not making any money off of this, just like he's not making money from working here. And if you think it's going to help his brand, that's great. But I would suggest that he probably doesn't need much help promoting his brand. So put the profit one aside and deal with a perfect place in who's here for the last time was a Camp David was at the perfect place.

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In fact, I understand the folks who participated in it hated it and thought it was a miserable place to have the G7. It was way too small was way to promote my understanding. This media didn't like it because you had to drive an hour in a bus to get there. Either way, I think your point.

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But there have been other G7 summits. I've attended numerous G7 summit.

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Well, let me remind you, we looked at how can the White House really make the argument that this is the only place that the G7 summit.

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It's not the only place. It's the best place. Those are two different things. Okay. But we had dates, other places without plenty of other good places in this country to hold a large event. There's no question about it. Some of the limitations we wanted at a specific time, we wanted it in early June. So that limited a little bit. Then there's other there's there's difficulties with going various places. Some places don't have the transportation that you need.

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I mean, there was one place I won't say where it was, where we actually had to figure out if we're going to have to have oxygen tanks for the participants because of the altitude. So, yeah, there's there's just there's limitations at other places. We thought of the 12 places that we looked at. And you'd recognize the names of them if we told you what they were, that this was by far and away the best choice. Yes, ma'am.

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This is this is a business of optic. How is the president going to stand on a debate stage if, in fact, Vice President Biden wins the nomination and try to make an argument that profited off his vice president?

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He's going to do that extraordinarily well.

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Yes, ma'am. We're talking about how this is this is the best place, the best places at this event. So is this going to be self-contained just at Doral? Are there other hotel rooms you think you'll have to get there or anywhere else they go?

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Yeah. One of the events I understand that one of the advantages that the advance team came back with about Doral was the fact that it could be sequestered off from the rest of the city and that nearly all or all of the operations could be on that one piece of property. I think there's the presidency. There's almost 900 acres there. So it's a huge facility and we'll be able with a lot of open space. I think there's three golf courses. So there's there's a lot of space available to us.

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And we do anticipate the entire thing being on that campus now, including hotels.

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I talked about additional hotel rooms using rock to get towels involved in that. Yeah. Well, I would say again. I'm not sure about the. When we talk about the delegations, for example, when we went to where we'd be a Ritz, I think we were two or three different hotels around that city. That would not be the case here. The American delegation would stay on campus. The British delegation will stay on campus. The Germans will stay on campus.

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Whether you folks will be there, whether or not there'll be other folks who are using up hotel rooms in the Miami area. I can't speak to that.

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Local authorities with local authorities. Have you been in contact with us? Yeah, I haven't asked that question, but we do that as part of the advance team. We'll do that with each of the groups that we work with.

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But I'm not for me with those spam video shown last weekend at that resort. Actually, Dr. many the president killing members of the news media and his political opponents. Why do you think he hasn't spoken directly about the sentiment behind that video? Have you asked him?

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I'm sure he does.

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They say, oh, but now that we. But we put out a statement. You had your chance to ask that question yesterday and you asked him something else, which is fine. But hold on a sec. Hold on. To say your question was why he has an answer. We did as as a White House. We listened that. We didn't like that. I think we condemn that.

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That's not the president. What do you like? Sixty five. We didn't talk. What do we do now? Did you think that we would moving?

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I mean, doesn't something go very strong? Oh, come on, John. I mean, this was it was awful. I mean, I mean, we're seeing the movie. No, no. We. That has no place here. I think we've I think we've condemned that. I don't know if he's seen or not. I have. Yes, sir.

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The cameras and say this, Mr. Cheney before the cameras and is destroyed. And then you're trying to put it in place that you think is the best. Yeah. Maybe save the taxpayers some money, which is important for all of us. But sometimes you. Because of the appearance of impropriety. Yeah. You don't make that call. Can you at least understand and acknowledge that the just the appearance of impropriety makes us wince inducing and maybe this is something that you want to reconsider.

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How did that conversation go on the road?

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The president knows that this is the president. We don't the environment we live in. Y'all know the environment that we live in. And he knows exactly that. He's gonna get these questions and exactly get that reaction from a lot of people. And he's simply saying, OK, that's fine. I'm willing to take that the same way he takes it when he goes to Trump more live in the same place when he goes to play Trump Bedminster. He got over that a long time ago.

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He acted. We absolutely believe this is the best place to have it. We're going to have it there. And there's going to be folks who will never get over the fact that it's a Trump property. We get that, but we're still going to go there. It's.

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Aside from like your advance team did look for the perfect place. Yeah. What role did the president play in selecting around, including getting in on the initial list of ten or twelve places in the first place?

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Yeah, I think that's a fair question. We sat around one night. We're back in the dining room and going over with a couple of our vancity. We had the list and he goes, What about drylands? That's that's not the craziest idea. It makes perfect sense. We're all familiar with it. So it's not like he said. Oh, by it. This is what Doral is. I have to explain. You know, what about real life?

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You know what? That's not the craziest idea we ever heard. We sat down with. Go look at it. Yes, sir.

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Let me ask you about as it relates to this decision that you've made as the host country, couldn't the president simply as the host country and vice president to represent Russia? You said of.

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Yeah, I think we can't. I think, as I understand, the G-7 works. There'll be other leaders there anyway. For example, I met with Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia at the G7, even though they're not there, I assume. He came at the invite of President Macron and we could do the same thing. But in terms of I think the question I got originally was turning it from the G7 into the G8.

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Good question. Could he simply invite president put into it?

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I think he probably yes. If you have questions, Kenny, physically do that. Yeah, I think he can.

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Whether you think and he's president.

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But what he considered doing, that's really not come up. I think the conversation we've had about whether or not we heard from the G7 or the G8, that could be an intermediate step. Yes, sir.

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You mentioned that the president is willing to take the criticism on this, but what about the country itself? Is there any value to sending a message to the world, especially given that all that's happened with foreign interference and attempted foreign interference in our country, that this president in this country is not open for the kind of self-dealing that happens in other countries? Is that not an important message to send when you're inviting the world to come here to the United States?

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No. What's your question? Any G7 any last G7 questions about the G7 dowry? A couple of things. One is the best property for this to take place. The first question is, why has no other G7 ever been held there before?

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Because they didn't go look at it. So I don't know why. Why did they have to Camp David? I mean, seriously. I mean, for those of you who were there, I'm a little bit for me, whether I'm talking to folks up at Camp David, because I was up there recently and asked, is it didn't you guys hope that it was a G8 back then, 2004, something like that. And they say it was a complete disaster, like, OK, I wonder how that happened.

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How did that decision get made? Last G7 question and if I can.

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You were talking about the president's. This video where the president was seen shooting members of the media there was playing at the Doral property there. They said that we haven't had the chance to ask him that question yet, which we have. But probably the president has tweeted forty five thousand times, forty five thousand times. How come the president hasn't used that Twitter account to more than 60 million followers to condemn his chief of staff?

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Yeah, the White House put out a statement about it. I mean, that's because he's tweeted forty five times the next time you ask him again. It's not like the man hides from you folks. I think he's done almost a hundred Face-To-Face interviews with you or anybody else in G7.

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Is there any precedent in your studying of the G7 of a G7 summit being held at a property owned by the president or a president? And my second question is, as you're looking at the content and what you want to do next year is be going to be hot in Florida in June. Will climate change be one of the issues that you discuss?

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The first question is no. I don't know if another president's ever done. I don't know if another president is owned, a property that was even considered for G7. So now we haven't I don't know the answer to that question. Climate change will not be on the agenda. Yes, sir.

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Thank you. President Trump has called exposure of the whistleblower on Ukraine down on G7. And as I said, the collective is at the collective will. Yeah, I got one gentleman. Yes, sir. Go ahead. Last vantages out.

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We begin with the passing of the comments. Just to show the American people that this is above board. Are you going to share documents that show how you arrived at this decision with the Congress?

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No, but I would imagine we would. We would share dollar figures with you afterwards.

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I mean, that's that's that's where they force of business that shows by comparison, by the way, you're going to get this answer a lot. Okay. I don't talk about how this place runs on the inside. So if you ask us if you want to see our paper on how we did this, the answer's absolutely not. Yes, sir.

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There will almost certainly be a House Judiciary Committee hearing about this site selection. You think so? Adler has already talked about that. We'll know. Do you really think so? Do you think they have time to do that? Yeah.

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Will the administration participate, cooperate with that?

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You know, that's. By the way, that's a fascinating question. I thought that this would prompted a Judiciary Committee investigation. On one hand, I'm thinking to myself, they don't have time to do it because they're too busy doing impeachment. Right. And then I think to myself now, this is entirely consistent with how they've spent the first 18 months in office, a 12 month high level on they've been. Viniar I guess it's been a year, right?

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Yeah. They'd rather do that than talk about tax policy than talk about drug policy, than talk about opioids. Talk about health care. So that's a fascinating question. I don't know if there will be a Judiciary Committee inquiry into this. My guess is there probably will be. And we'll look forward to participating in it. But this is all these all G7 questions around right now. Now we're moving on to something else. So who hasn't asked for Jon?

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Karl has not asked a question yet. So actually, a clarification on.

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On your first statement on the G7, you said five finalists and you said my goal was to have four finalists.

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I think we agreed. We started with 12 on it's sort of a list with the team visited the sort of the first team visited 10 of those and I think identified the states we think got our senior team down and they visited four of which Mar a Lago was one that was won in Hawaii and two in Utah.

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So you're telling me that in the entire United States, you came down to four finalists and two of them were Trump properties. Now, one more. I'm sorry.

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I'm sorry. I know. I'm sorry. I missed that. Duran Duran Duran Duran. I'm sorry. Yes. No. OK. So, Mark. No, Ma log was not involved.

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Mark was not close to being sufficient. The G7. I'm sorry that I did you. Thank you for calling. If I said Mara Lago and about where we visited, that was Doral.

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I apologize. All right. So to the question of Ukraine. Yeah. Can you clarify? And I've been trying to get an answer to this. Was the president is serious when he said that he would also like to see China investigate the fine. And you were directly involved in the decision to withhold funding from Ukraine. Can you explain to us now definitively why? Why was funding with. Didn't steal the second one first, which is, look, it should come as no surprise to anybody.

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The last time I was up here, I've been I've done this since I was chief staff. Right. Last time I was up here. So many folks remember it was for the budget briefings. Right. And one of the questions y'all always asked me about the budget is what are you all doing to the foreign aid budget? Because we we absolutely got it right. President Trump is not a big fan of foreign aid. Never has been. Still isn't doesn't like spending money overseas, especially when it's poorly spent.

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And that is exactly what drove this decision. I've been in the office a couple times with him talking about this. Is it look. MC This is a corrupt place. Everybody knows it's a corrupt place, by the way. Put this in context. This is on the heels what happened in Puerto Rico when we took a lot of heat for not wanting to give a bunch of aid to Puerto Rico because we thought that place was corrupt. And by the way.

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We were right. All right, so put that as your as your context like. This is a corrupt place. I don't send them a bunch of money and have them waste it, have them spend it, have them use it to line their own pockets. Plus, I'm not sure that the other European countries are helping them out either. So we actually looked at that during that time before when the might when we when we cut the money off, before the money actually flowed because the money flowed by the end of the fiscal year, we actually did an analysis of what other countries were doing in terms of supporting Ukraine.

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What we found out was that if it's zero or near zero dollars from any European countries for lethal aid, you've heard the president say this, that we give them tanks and the other countries give them pillows. That's absolutely right. That is as vocal as the Europeans are about supporting Ukraine. They are really, really stingy when it comes to lethal aid. And they weren't helping Ukraine. And that's still to this day or not. And the president did not like that as the norm.

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As long answer your question, I'm still going. So that was those were the driving factors that he also mentioned to me in past that the corruption related to the DNC server. Absolutely. No question about that. But that's it. And that's why we held up the money.

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Now, there was a report says the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he was on to withhold funding to the VA.

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Look back to what happened in 2016. Certainly was was part of the thing that he was worried about and corruption with that nation, then that is absolutely a role in the funding which which ultimately then flowed. By the way, there was a report that we were worried that the money, wouldn't it, if we didn't pay out the money, it would be illegal. It would be unlawful. That is one of those things that is as that little shred of truth in it, that that makes it look a lot worse than it really is.

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We were concerned about an hour over at OMB about an impoundment. I know I just put half you folks to bed, but there's that there's the Budget Control Act Impound Budget Control Empowerment Act of 1974 says if Congress appropriates money, you have to spend it. At least that's how it's interpreted by some folks. And we knew that that money either had to go out the door by the end of September or we had ever really, really good reason not to do it.

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And that was the legality of the issue. Let's be clear.

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You just described is a quid pro quo. It is. Funding will not flow unless the investigation into the into the Democratic server happens as well.

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We do we do that all the time with foreign policy. We were holding up money at the same time for what was the northern triangle. Countries were holding up aid at the northern triangle countries so that they so that they would change their policies on immigration. But by the way, and this speaks to this speaks to an important I'm sorry, this speaks to important point, because I heard this yesterday and I can never remember the gentleman who test was McKinney the guy.

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Is that his name? I don't know. He testified yesterday. And if you go and if you believe the news reports. Because we've not seen any transcripts of this. The only transcript I've seen was someone's testimony morning this morning. If you read the news reports and you believe them, what are McKinney say yesterday when McKinney said yesterday that he was really upset with the political influence in foreign policy? That was one of the reasons he was so upset about this.

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And I have news for everybody. Get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy.

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Fine. I'm talking Mr. Carr, all of that is going to happen.

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Elections have consequences and foreign policy is going to change from the Obama administration to the Trump administration. And what you're seeing now, I believe, is a group of mostly career pilot career bureaucrats who are saying, you know what, I don't like President Trump's politics, so I'm going to participate in this witch hunt that they're undertaking on the Hill. Elections do have consequences and they should. And your foreign policy is going to change. Obama did it in one way.

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We're doing it a different way. And there's no problem with that.

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Fine. So Mr. Mulvaney, did that that come into consideration when. I'm sorry.

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I don't know your name, but he's being very rude.

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So if you're going to answer your question, just to clarify and just to follow up on that question. So when you say politics, you want to be involved. Yeah. The question here is not just about political decisions, about how you want to run the government. This is about investigating political opponents.

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Are you saying the DNC is the DNC server and it's okay for for the U.S. government to hold up aid and require a foreign government to investigate political opponents of the press?

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Now, the you're talking about looking forward to the next election. We're talking the DNC.

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The DNC is still involved in this next election. Is that not correct?

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So wait a second. So there's. Hold on a sec. Yet. Let me ask you. Castigate the DNC. So let's look at this scene at the DNC. There's an ongoing. There's an ongoing investigation by our Department of Justice into the 2016 election. Remember that person's name? Durham. Durham. Okay. That's an ongoing investigation, right? So you're saying the president states the chief law enforcement person cannot ask somebody to cooperate with an ongoing public investigation into wrongdoing?

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That's that's that's just bizarre to me that you would think that you can't do that.

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So. So you would say that it's fine to ask about the DNC for not about. Fine. So Biden is now. Biden is running for the Democratic nomination right now. Twenty 2020. That's all.

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That's a hypothetical because that did not happen here. But I would ask you. No, no. On the call, the president did ask about investigating the Bidens. Are you saying that the money that was held up that had nothing to do with the but that the money held up had absolutely nothing to do with Biden?

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There's no go. And that was the point I made to you. And you're drawing a distinction. You say that there were three three factors.

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Again, I was I was involved with the process by which the money was held up temporarily. Three issues for that. The corruption in the country, whether or not other countries were participating, the support of Ukraine and whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice. That's completely legitimate. Yes, sir. Thank you.

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Regarding the secretary over at the State Department, the deputy assistant secretary for Asian European Asian Affairs, George Tenet, reportedly testified that you asked him to step down from any issues regarding Ukraine. Is that true? Do you do? Who said that was George kett?

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I'm sorry. None of that is. Is that? Said some who testified this week. I don't believe I've ever talked to anybody named George Kent in my life. Daub. I asked anybody to resign their position over this.

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And also another thing is, is that there have been reports that you had that you had been conducting a review of the of the of the phone call with the with Vladimir Zelinsky, Ukrainian president. And the question is, what are you what are you doing? Is that true? You do acknowledge that you've been conducting that review. But more is certainly with the calls as perfect as the list. Again, no one here in any difficulty with a call.

[00:27:13.01]
We do think the call is perfect. We don't think there's any difficulty with the call at all. I read it several times, by the way, was not on the call. Some of my officers on the call, no one raised any difficulty with me on the call at all. I understand that, in fact, no one on the call in here thought there was any difficulty with it. Let's get you point about what we're doing inside.

[00:27:30.06]
So was this an attempt to actually uncover the whistleblower, what that was?

[00:27:34.03]
No, no. Here's where they look. If you if you get if you're having the house, do what they're going to do, doesn't it simply make sense for us to sort of try and find out what happened? That this is this is one of the questions I don't understand from you folks that we get all the time, which is some of you have criticized us for having a war room, which we don't by the way, you don't have a war and when you haven't done anything wrong.

[00:27:57.00]
Clinton certainly had a war room. I think Nixon did. But they actually did something wrong. We did. So we don't have a war room. But at the same time, then we say that you say, well, you're not taking it seriously. Yeah, we are. I mean, we do it. It's part of what we do. Look, when you worked for the Trump administration, you're used to this kind of attention, right?

[00:28:12.03]
We know how to do this and we do this and we're preparing for it. Yes, we're having lawyers. Look at it. Yes, we're having. Are PR people looking at if we didn't be if we weren't doing that, we would be committing malpractice, but I don't think is anything extraordinary that we're doing. We've been dealing with oversight from the government, from the Democrats since they took office. In fact, it's all we've been dealing with the Democrats since they took office, because we certainly have been doing much legislating since they've been here.

[00:28:35.04]
Yes, ma'am. I'll tell you, folks have ask a question yet in light of the depositions that we've heard.

[00:28:40.05]
Do you believe that Rudy Giuliani's role as an outside adviser to the president is problematic?

[00:28:45.06]
No, that that's the that's the president's call. I mean, I actually Steve Scully has got to ask this a similar question today on television. His answer was great, which is, look, you may not like the fact. In fact, I think I understand from reading his opening testimony that Gordon Solin did like the fact that Giuliani was involved and said that in his in his testimony. OK, that's great. You may not like the fact that Giuliani was involved.

[00:29:05.04]
That's great. That's fine. It's not illegal. It's not impeachable. The president gets to use who he wants to use. Prezant wants to fire me today and hire somebody else. He can't from. The actual president gets to set foreign policy.

[00:29:17.03]
He gets to choose who to do so as long as it doesn't violate any law. He doesn't violate laws regarding confidential information of classified material, things like that. The president gets to use. He wants to go.

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Oh, yes. Yes. Did the president direct you or anyone else to work with Rudy Giuliani?

[00:29:35.01]
Yeah. When was it? There was the May meeting. And I think this has been widely reported. In fact, I think Sunlen mentioned it in his testimony. And I'm pretty sure that Rick Perry mentioned his interview yesterday with the with the with The Wall Street Journal, that in the May meeting in the Oval Office that I was in, I think Senator Johnson was there as well of Mr. Volcker was there. The president asked Rick Perry to work with Mr.

[00:29:58.05]
Giuliani.

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Did you think that was appropriate when you were asked as well? I wasn't asked. You were not asked. That was my question when you or anyone else asked.

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And I think answer your question is that did that just the presence told Rick Perry, who I think was sort of you know, he was the issue at one of the reasons they were in the office. You talk about energy that we were very interested in trying to get Ukraine as an energy partner. That's why Mr. Perry Secretary Perry was so heavily involved. And that's when that's when the president said to Mr. Perry, yeah, go ahead and talk to Rudy.

[00:30:29.08]
Yes. And that's the question. Yes.

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I saw whole shadow foreign policy. Look at that. That's that's a term you're using. That's a that's a pejorative. That's what is a shadow foreign policy. The president asked normal. Who else is in the room? Rudy Giuliani.

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Who's in the room with the president's having this conversation. Hey, it's Gordon Solin, our ambassador to the EU.

[00:30:51.09]
Kurt Volker, who is our special designated envoy to the Ukraine. I sat next to Mike Mike Pompeo yesterday at the meeting with the congressional leaders. And I said, look, I understand I coordinated a coup against you by putting by putting Sandlin and and Volcker in charge of Ukraine policy. Lutely leans back to me, goes, you know, they both worked for me. There's not a shadow policy here. The president is entitled to have whatever he wants to work.

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I'm 100 percent corker with this bunch. I did. I did. Yes. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

[00:31:20.08]
Yes. Just to follow on that question. Can you describe the role that you played in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the violence? And secondly, can you walk us through the meeting that President Trump was dangling over? Vladimir's was the top and right here at the White House. What were the preconditions of that meeting and was investigating Verismo?

[00:31:43.07]
One of the first question he answered. The first answer, your question is none. I don't have any in any. What was your question? What I do with Ukraine or nothing?

[00:31:51.01]
Did you do anything to pressure Ukraine to investigate the bite? No. So what's the second question? The second question is about the meeting that he dangled, having the White House between the two presidents. Yes. Walk us through the discussions for that meeting. Now on the table for a precondition. And was the investigation of charisma ever brought up as a condition to meet the president Trump?

[00:32:16.02]
No, not to me and not anybody I know of. I was never in a conversation that that had the word Berrima in it.

[00:32:23.04]
But as to estimating the Bidens or the Bidens, that never happened with me in there. But to the to the larger point about the meeting, I think one of things you'll have missed is a president who won't take the meeting. President, I have a phone call. That was that was that was that was Mr. Rick Perry was pushing for that.

[00:32:39.09]
He said, I'll see you here at the White House at the end.

[00:32:42.06]
Yes. But that's I think that was a courtesy that he was extending at the time.

[00:32:45.07]
He's not been here yet, but never realistically entertaining a meeting with president Wednesday.

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I mean, I think 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've tried be courteous and say yes. And some of them were able to accommodate and some of them we are not. But I do not remember. I'm going to ask you a question that I don't remember, a serious conversation about setting up an actually, there are no dates discussed. Was not. I saw that as one of the typical pleasantries that we have.

[00:33:14.01]
And I don't think it was dangling a meeting or anything like that. Sorry, Mr. President symphony. to welcome everyone at the White House Nov. 13. Yeah, I think that I think that depends on how the next couple of days go. I think that we've still on the schedule and I understand that those Vice President Pence is meeting is going much longer than it's expected today. I hope it's not going on that. I'm having a press conference right now, but I think that's one of those wait and see things.

[00:33:39.02]
The president's been very clear about what he wants to see out of president or the one he wants a cease fire. Now he wants prisoners protected. He, I think, go down the long list of the things the president has mentioned to President Ertel on. And if we're able to get that and I think that meeting go forward, if not, then I think the president will review that possibility. His family.

[00:33:58.04]
Gordon, sir, you said you the press just said you were involved in the process in which the money being held up temporarily.

[00:34:08.01]
You name three issues for the country, whether or not the country they were assisting with an ongoing investigation of corruption. How is that not an establishment of of an exchange of a political problem? As you just seem to say, it's quid pro quo.

[00:34:21.08]
Those are terms and then those are the terms that you use. I mean, go look at what Gordon Seidlin's said today and it is in his testimony was that I think in his opening statement, he said something along the lines of they were trying to get the deliverable. And the deliverable was a statement by the Ukraine about how they were going to deal with corruption. I think you'll read his testimony if you haven't already. And what he says is and he's right.

[00:34:42.06]
That's absolutely ordinary course of business. This is this is what you do. Would you would you would you when you when you have someone come to the White House, when you either arrange a visit to the president, you have a phone call with the president. A lot of times we use that as the opportunity to get them to make a statement of their policy or to announce something that they're going to do. It's for the reasons we could then, you know, you can you can sort of announce that at the on the phone call or at the meeting.

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This is the ordinary course of foreign policy.

[00:35:08.04]
Yes, exactly. Romney is isn't appropriate for any president or this president to pressure a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.

[00:35:17.09]
Every time we get that question, that's what that's one of the things about it is. But so is it. When did you stop beating your wife? It assumes the president's done that. We haven't done that.

[00:35:26.09]
Mr. I think trial. I'm not going to talk about with this president. Yes, ma'am. Mr President, personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said he sees his work as the president's personal attorney as intertwined with the president's national agenda when it comes to Ukraine. Do you see those issues as intertwined? Is his political interest as a private president, as a political candidate, is that intertwined with the national interests?

[00:35:51.01]
I don't know how to answer that question, except that Mr Giuliani's his personal lawyer and the president wants to use him, personal attorney, to be working in Ukraine on issues that are supposed to be national issues.

[00:36:04.09]
Mr Giuliani, if there's an attorney client privilege issue because he was working in the president's interest. Is that appropriate for his personal attorney to be working?

[00:36:11.07]
I don't know of anything inappropriate about that. Yes, sir. Mr McCain. You I'm sort of leading the back is very nice. Yes, ma'am.

[00:36:17.09]
Thank you, Miss Lavine. How do you say that? So hot holding pious. They tend to not like in previous administrations. How does the president less pond about the north?

[00:36:32.01]
Could he break off talks, meet the U.S., even if the question is responding to breaking off talks? Is there news the last couple of days on that? Yes.

[00:36:43.06]
October 5th, Stockholm and misleading. OK. I'm sure I've not I just not briefed on that. I apologize. Yes, sir.

[00:36:51.08]
Thank you, Mr.. And I'll take one more of this. There have been published reports that you were objecting within the president's official family to the appointment of Ken Cuccinelli as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. Is that so? And if so, what is your objection to is possible appoint?

[00:37:12.05]
I have not and I think can be good at the job. Yes, ma'am. So I did it. I really doing you the whole time. You're sitting in the front row. And I have to ask you a question. Yes. I'm sorry.

[00:37:20.07]
Same name, isn't it? So. So there was no quid pro quo in the call if it was routine. If he did he want to do it. And it was also on the up and up why it didn't have to go into this more restrictive server. Why was it moved from the one server to the other.

[00:37:38.06]
All right. Let's let's. I'm glad we got that. It's going to finish on. I'm not going to answer your question the way you want me to, but I'm going to answer your question. So give me just a second. I'm not going to sit here and talk about how we handle classified information in this building. I got a couple questions before about my private conversations. The president don't talk about those either. I'm not going to talk about that, but I do want to address it.

[00:37:58.03]
And here's why. There's only one reason people care about that, right? That's because they think there's a cover up, that they think they hope there's a cause. Some of them hope that there's a cover up that, oh, my goodness gracious, there must have been something really, really duplicitous, something really underhanded about how they handled this document, because there must be a cover up because there's always a good cover up when they do. We've got.

[00:38:17.01]
Impeachment, right? Nixon had a cover up of the tapes cleanout, a cover up of the relationship with Lewinsky. There must be a cover up here. Right. We ask you this. If we wanted to cover this up. Would we have called the Department of Justice almost immediately, had them look at the transcript of the tape, which we did, by the way. Right. If we wanted to cover this up, would we have released it to the public?

[00:38:38.06]
And by the way, I'm glad that now all of this concern about how the document has been edited and what are these ellipses stand for, because I heard Adam Schiff go on television yesterday and saw it yesterday, the day before and say, you know, we don't need to hear from the whistleblower anymore, because now we have the transcript of the memorandum of communication memorandum of document. OK. Everyone wants to believe there's a cover up. You don't give stuff to the public and say, here it is.

[00:38:59.00]
If you're trying to cover something up. So I'm not going to answer your question by explaining how we handle documents in this building. I'm telling you is that you can stop asking the questions in there because there's no cover up. And I can prove it to you by our actions.

[00:39:10.01]
Look, I know we could do this all night. I'm not going take any more. It's nice. It's nice to see everybody. Thanks again. I didn't take it. Why? Why are you afraid? Questions from CNN or otherwise. Ambassador Bill.