Acting White House chief of staff acknowledges quid pro quo in Ukraine

Mick Mulvaney acknowledged to ABC's Jon Karl that aid was withheld to push Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
5:20 | 10/18/19

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Transcript for Acting White House chief of staff acknowledges quid pro quo in Ukraine
What a day in Washington yesterday a stunning admission from acting chief of staff make small rainy admitting they're actually was a quid pro quo and that Ukraine phone call. Something the White House has repeatedly denied so take a look. So the demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold. Funding Ukraine the look back to what happened in 2016. Certainly was was part living that he was worried about in corruption with that nation that that is absolutely brilliant but to be clear readers described as a quid pro quo it is. Funding will not flow in west the investigation. Into the the into the democratic server. Happen as well we do that all of the time with foreign policy and I have news for everybody get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy. Get over in so want to bring in Karen Travers at the White House and we have Catherine falters. On Capitol Hill I'm Karen I'll start with you this is one of the most. Interesting moments in a briefing room in a very long time and despite. You know the complete denial those comments were pretty clear. Yet this is the most action the breathing room has gotten in sometime in the first time we've seen nick Maloney on the record on camera talking about the impeachment inquiry. And all of the controversies surrounding at a couple things here. Mic Laney said very clearly yesterday that there were three reasons why the aid to Ukraine was being held up. He said one was the US wanting to get that country's corruption under control to it with other countries chipping in to help Ukraine with aides have pushed back on the threat on Russia and he said the reason was because the president wanted to see Ukraine cooperate with an investigation. Into the 2016 election in her fear is that DNC's server issue which of course. In the debunked conspiracy theory we'll Laney made that very clear he actually circle back to it and said there are three reasons. Later in the day Khomeini sensing that cans of worms that they had opened up with this briefing put out a statement saying that the media miss came true construed what he said. And that there were only two reasons why that aid was held up. Guess which moment left off the list in of course was the DNC aspect of it which many people say is right there clear problem for the administration who had been saying for weeks now that there is no political quid pro quo. Yet it's absolutely a problem in Catherine how does this play. Into the impeachment probe. Obama mania has made these comments while leave them lawmakers and staffers were behind closed doors in a deposition and frankly investigating this specific issues of Democrats something they had heard about his comments came out and says this is something that the administration of the White House is now and then until after denying it for weeks and M Republican's master took those same stands as my only needed when he is completely walked back by the way those comments they said. Winning in on the media and a sense that some Republicans that I caught up webmaster said. He just completely misspoke and he wasn't wrong the first time mark meadows a close ally of the president has told me that Khomeini was long that they have not heard back from the witnesses have they been speaking to. And the past couple of care. And can it's always interesting to see how people are processing ministers regular Americans the lower people asking you on your radio calls this morning. There really is sitting at the anchors are channeling their listeners on ABC radio or sense of what people are talking about their communities. I think it was striking that this wasn't complicated it wasn't confusing there are three key points here one mic Maldini admitted there was a quid pro quo. With the Ukraine. And with a political pushed by the president to make will be said there is nothing wrong with this get over it this happens all the time. And pretty it. In that this is going to cause a lot of heart aches for the administration. Very soon after that briefing yesterday saw the president's legal team put out a statement distancing themselves saying we had nothing to do with that briefing. The department justice on our colleague Alex Mallon that. If there weren't any push heard Ukraine to get involved with an ongoing investigation into the DNC server. It was news to them at other thing that's important here is that Mick beanie was coming out to talk about the G-7 summit next year taking place at the presidents' golf resort outside Miami that alone is the controversial and complicated issue questions on the we're going to be difficult from it won't beanie. He didn't have to do this briefing and I got a lot of questions this morning why did he even bother this is just made things worse. Yang Katherine before we go you know Karen just mentioned that G-7 summit what's the latest on that what are people saying about that fumble on the hill. Yes and this is something of course that Democrats have taken issue with since the president announced that couple months ago that our liberty and Thomas ways that Karen mentioned it's. That complicated Democrats say it's a violation of the monuments clause meaning that he would profit. From foreign governments off of off the business. At the resort so they Democrats have are already looking into this are investigating an specifically Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee as a will be hearing a lot more from them of course that that the president. All right lots going on I'm Karen Travers at the White House in Catherine folders on the hill thank you guys for the updates.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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