Morning Greatness: The Secret Word Is…Extortion

Good Friday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • The president receives his intelligence briefing

Another OMGTRUMPGOTCHA moment: Mulvaney edition

I happened to catch this presser live yesterday because I love watching the media beclown themselves. The media is so incredibly disrespectful and accusatory toward the unlucky staffer forced to throw chum at the sharks. Do they even care how they look when they are shouting accusations at the WH’s sacrificial representative?

Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney showed up to tell the vultures that the G-7 summit would be held at Trump Doral in Miami. Obviously this was a massive trigger for the press corp because EMOLUMENTS. The media also wanted to talk about the Ukraine call that is the lynch pin of the Impeachment Follies and Mulvaney obliged them by chatting. He should have refused and walked out because it never matters what is actually said, the media will characterize it as a smoking gun level admission of guilt. I wish the administration would just stop talking to the corporate media.

According to reports from media impeachment proponents, Mulvaney admitted there was a “quid pro quo” when Trump asked the newly elected Ukrainian president to look into corruption on the now-famous phone call. “Quid pro quo” is not a crime, actually, so the new secret word is…extortion. Keep your eye out for that.

Mulvaney told reporters during a press briefing Thursday about Trump’s attempts to stop corruption in Ukraine that “the look-back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation,” adding, “Did he also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the D.N.C. server? Absolutely. No question about that.”

“But that’s it,” Mulvaney declared, “and that’s why we held up the money.”

The president doesn’t want the U.S. to give a boatload of cash money to a kleptocracy. He wants the Ukrainians to investigate well-established corruption rampant in their country and assist the U.S. in its investigation into Ukranian involvement in the 2016 election. We were told that foreign election interference was the most important issue EVER for more than 2 years when Mueller was hunting witches. Now, not so much.

The media is clucking about “quid pro quo,” as if it were a crime to have conditions before we shovel aid into a foreign country. But only months ago, Trump publicly announced the U.S. would hold up aid to the triangle countries unless they got their act together on their migrant caravans rushing our southern border. They’ve just released the aid, for those paying attention to this issue. It’s normal and it should be normal that the U.S. has conditions upon which we give money to other nations. The media exploits the public’s ignorance on the routine political procedure and regularly criminalizes the mundane activity of Trump’s foreign diplomacy. I’d like to see Trump declassify EVERY SINGLE TRANSCRIPT of Obama’s conversations with foreign leaders so we can see if he was making deals contingent on terms we’ve set forward in order to receive U.S. aid and assistance. But do we even need a transcript? Obama released $1.5B to Hezbollah Iran if they would agree to the “deal” he cooked up. Is that a “quid pro quo?”

Mulvaney was forced to clarify himself after the media swarm.

“Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump. Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.  The president never told me to withhold any money until the Ukrainians did anything related to the server. The only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption.  Multiple times during the more-than 30 minute briefing where I took over 25 questions, I referred to President Trump’s interest in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, and ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and appropriately.  There was never any connection between the funds and the Ukrainians doing anything with the server – this was made explicitly obvious by the fact that the aid money was delivered without any action on the part of the Ukrainians regarding the server.

There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server.”

Stop talking to the media.

Mulvaney confesses to quid pro quo: Get over it
Mulvaney comments seized on by critics saying it’s proof of Ukraine quid pro quo

Cease-fire or something

Veep Pence announced yesterday that he had brokered a cease-fire with Turkey “to suspend its military operation in Syria to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone.”

Pence said that Turkey will suspend its military operations for five days to allow the Kurdish forces to leave the zone, and that U.S. forces will aid in the retreat.

“I’m grateful for the president’s leadership. I’m grateful for the more than five hours of negotiations with President [Recep] Erdogan,” Pence said, adding that the parties “arrived at a solution that we believe will save lives.”

But as I write this at 4:22amET, there seems to be continued fighting according to reports.

Mattis: ‘I’m the Meryl Streep of generals’

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis responded to President Trump’s remark that he was “the world’s most overrated general” while speaking at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Mattis said he was honored by Trump’s dig because Trump had also said the Meryl Streep was an overrated actress. “So I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals,” Mattis joked, “and frankly that sounds pretty good to me.” Yuk, yuk, yuk.

I just want to remind you dear reader that MadDog signed onto the board of Theranos, the blood company built upon the fairy tale idea of painlessly acquiring a drop of blood to run a battery of blood tests that traditionally required multiple vials of blood. So much for due diligence. Mattis also “attempted to arrange for the Defense Department to procure Theranos testing equipment to use in the field in Afghanistan, according to senior U.S. Army officials familiar with the matter.” Is this guy the sharpest tack?

Impeachment roundup
‘There can be no slowdown’: Dems keep up impeachment push while mourning Cummings
Democrats want Mulvaney to testify in Trump impeachment probe
Republicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings’ death

Your daily WTFs:
These People Make Thousands a Month Selling Live Roaches on eBay
San Diego woman gives up 300 rats she lived with in her van
A New York EMT had a stroke on the job and a colleague who tried to help had an aortic aneurysm

Other morsels:
New York City lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island jail by 2026
ICE Identifies Hundreds Of Migrants Allegedly Lying About Their Family Status
‘Fun Times In Beijing’: Hunter Biden Received $700,000 From Company That Held Stake In Chinese Investment Firm
Senate fails to override Trump on border wall emergency
‘South Park’ dunks on LeBron James over Hong Kong controversy
NBC won’t authorize outside investigation of Matt Lauer sexual misconduct allegations
Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells Trump he plans to resign, sources say
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Private companies should not censor politicians
Chinese diplomats must notify about all meetings with universities, local governments: State Department

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!

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About Liz Sheld

Liz Sheld is the senior news editor at American Greatness. She is a veteran political strategist and pollster who has worked on campaigns and public interest affairs. Liz has written at Breitbart and The Federalist, as well as at PJ Media, where she wrote "The Morning Briefing." In her spare time, she shoots sporting clays and watches documentaries.

Photo: (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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