WASHINGTON, D.C. — A visibly shaken and confused Mick Mulvaney, acting Chief of Staff for President Donald J. Trump, gave reporters an even more paradoxical and contradictory accounting of the now infamous July 2019 call between his boss and the incoming President of Ukraine this morning.
The call — in which the White House’s own summarized transcripts show Trump repeatedly pressing his Ukrainian counterpart to agree to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter — has been the subject of controversy and political rancor ever since a whistleblower came forward to protest what they say was a quid pro quo exchanged in the call. Democrats have been arguing as the story has unfolded that the details of the whistleblower report, combined with more and more testimony from officials within the administration, paint a picture of a president willing to set up his own shadow state department, using his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump, Pence, and Pompeo have all been stonewalling congressional investigations led by House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry. Yesterday, Mulvaney seemed to heap gallons of fresh fuel on the fire of controversy by not only admitting there was a quid pro quo, but that he was also directly involved in it. Mulvaney even seemed to be strident in his nonchalance about the quid pro quo, telling reporters and the American people to “get over it.” Mulvaney expressed a belief that deals of the sort are made frequently in matters of foreign policy.
Hours later, however, Mulvaney attempted to walk back what he said, denying that he confirmed a quid pro quo. As capital denizens went to bed last night, it wasn’t clear whether Mulvaney was still defending the suspension of aid to exact a political favor from a foreign government or not. This morning, as he was arriving at work, Mulvaney was stopped by reporters, and attempted to clarify himself further.
“Look, I don’t know why I have to keep saying this, but whatever. Okay, fine. But, really, please try to pay attention and then get over it, okay,” Mulvaney said as he began to speak. “There wasn’t a quid pro quo, but also there was, and yet there wasn’t, but even there was, shut up. Also there wasn’t.”
The press pool stood in silence as they wrote down Mulvaney’s statement. One reporter raised her hand. Mulvaney called on her, and she asked him to clarify his statement because it seemed “pretty contradictory and nonsensical.” As he rolled his eyes, Mulvaney repeated himself, only slower.
“There wasn’t a quid pro quo, but also there was, and yet there wasn’t, but even there was, shut up,” Mulvaney said, speaking like one might speak to a puppy. “Also there wasn’t. Any other questions?”
Yet another reporter chimed in and said she couldn’t quite understand what he’d just told everyone. Mulvaney once more sighed. He looked up to the sky and muttered a small prayer.
“Ugh. Jesus. Why this is so hard for you libtard cucks to understand? Okay. Here we go. One more time,” Mulvaney condescended, “There wasn’t a quid pro quo, but also there was, and yet there wasn’t, but even there was, shut up. Also there wasn’t.”
A clearly frustrated Mulvaney was further exasperated when he was asked yet again if there was a quid pro quo, and what, if anything, his role was in it.
“Oh my God! Don’t you guys want to ask me about something else? Like, you know, how our Thanksgiving plans are going or something,” Mulvaney asked.
The reporters all agreed they’d rather have him answer the question again, and so he did.
“There wasn’t a quid pro quo,” Mulvaney said, anger and irritation growing in his voice, “but also there was, and yet there wasn’t, but even there was, shut up. Also there wasn’t. Can we puh-leez move onto another topic now?”
Just then, President Trump stuck his head out of a window of the White House that overlooks the driveway.
“Mick! Mickey! Mickey Mouse,” Trump shouted. “Get your ass in here! I’m about to call the president of you-know-where to pressure him to do you-know-what by withholding aid! I need you to be on this call, Mick!”
Mulvaney acknowledged his boss, then turned to the reporters.
“Okay, you heard the man, I gotta go. But let me just try this one more time, in case you enemies of the people didn’t write down my answer verbatim the first six times,” Mulvaney said. “There wasn’t a quid pro quo, but also there was, and yet there wasn’t, but even there was, shut up. Also there wasn’t. Have a great day, everyone.”
Mulvaney walked away and entered the White House. Staffers later reported that his mouth was stained orange and permanently fixed in a circular shape.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.