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Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until it looked into the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukrainian nationals were in possession of a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee.

Asked why the administration had withheld $400 million in military aid allocated by Congress to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression, Mulvaney first cited the president’s desire to make sure Kiev’s government was not corrupt. Then, confirming a quid pro quo laid out in the partial summary released by the White House of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mulvaney cited a conspiracy theory involving the DNC server that housed emails leaked during the 2016 campaign.

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and some in the administration have been looking for evidence that the DNC hack was carried out by Ukrainian agents seeking to help the Clinton campaign, rather than Russians trying to help Trump — which was the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies.

“Did he also mention to me in the past the corruption related to the DNC server?” Mulvaney responded when asked about the president’s public call for China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. “Absolutely. No question about that. But that’s it. That’s why we held up the money.” Read more

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Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until it looked into the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukrainian nationals were in possession of a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Thursday that President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until it looked into the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukrainian nationals were in possession of a computer server belonging to the Democratic National Committee.