Oct 18, 2019

GOP rep on Mulvaney's Ukraine walk-back: "It's not an etch-a-sketch"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) said he doesn't believe acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's attempt to backpedal his statement on Thursday that the White House withheld security aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democrats, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: Rooney told Bloomberg the admission of quid-pro-quo "shocked" him and that he wants to "get to the facts and do the right thing." But Rooney was ambiguous on his stance on the impeachment investigation, according to Bloomberg, saying there's "a lot of water to flow down under the bridge."

  • "How in life can you do those kinds of things when you've just said it right there on national TV?" Rooney said about Mulvaney trying to walk back the comment. "It's not an Etch-A-Sketch."

Go deeper

Lone House Republican to consider Trump's impeachment announces retirement

Photo: Rooney in Nov. 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) announced his retirement on Saturday, the Washington Post reports — one day after saying he was "still thinking about" whether he considers President Trump's conduct in Syria impeachable.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — the most powerful Republican in the Senate — has fiercely rebuked Trump over his actions in Syria, as have other high-ranking GOP allies.

Mulvaney attempts to clean up comments on Ukraine quid pro quo

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday" that reporters misinterpreted comments he made on Oct. 17 about President Trump conditioning $400 million in aid to Ukraine on its government opening political investigations.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019

Trump's shout-it-out-loud strategy

Illustration: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Aïda Amer/Axios

The Trump administration is testing a novel strategy for dealing with controversy and possible illegalities: Pretend you have nothing to hide by blurting it out loud. 

Why it matters: President Trump and his aides and allies seem to think that by being unapologetic and admitting things that would have touched off blazing scandals just a few years ago, they can move the goalposts of what's acceptable to Republicans and the public.