Thursday's press conference by Mulvaney was to announce that Trump's Miami golf resort had been chosen to host the 2020 Group of Seven summit of world leaders - a decision the president reversed in a tweet late Saturday night following a torrent of criticism. "He's in the hotel business, at least he was".
US President Donald Trump holds a congratulatory phone call for the first all-female space walk outside of the International Space Station with astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, at the White House in Washington DC, Oct 18, 2019.
"This is literally Trump using the power of his office to personally profit off the presidency", said Common Cause.
Trump had faced a steady stream of criticism, including from fellow Republicans, over concerns that he would profit financially from the conference, scheduled for next June 10-12.
Some Mulvaney boosters pinned blame for a flat-footed impeachment strategy on White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
"It was one more front he couldn't fight on when he was already fighting on Syria and Ukraine", said Steel, on CBS' "Face the Nation". "We all know enough about this president that if he feels very strongly about something he's going to put that out there directly and it didn't happen".
WALLACE: You were asked by Jonathan Karl, is - you described a quid pro quo, and you said, that happens all the time.
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No House Republicans have yet said they will vote to impeach the president and send the matter to the Senate for trial. Republican retirement announcements have stacked up since the Democrats took the House in the 2018 midterms.
Recent polls by Gallup and Pew Research have shown that the majority of Americans-just over 50 percent-support the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry against Trump. "At the end of the day he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business", Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday".
In the White House briefing room Thursday, Mulvaney said the administration held up military aid dollars to Ukraine in order to pressure the country's government to investigate the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's server during the 2016 election - which ABC News' Jonathan Karl then called a "quid pro quo" in a question.
Mulvaney said, "The reason we held back the aide were the two reasons I mentioned". Mulvaney, in a stunning admission, confirmed Trump froze almost $400 million in United States security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats. "Can I see why people took that the wrong way?"
In a rare u-turn, the USA president said his administration will "immediately" begin searching for another site.
Continuing his about-face, Mulvaney said Sunday that he never used the specific words "quid pro quo", adding that the "back and forth" and "rapid fire" nature of White House press briefings may have left some observers confused about what he was trying to say.
Mulvaney said the decision would save taxpayers millions because the resort would provide its services at cost.
The executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, Noah Bookbinder, stated that Trump backtracking was itself a revelation but that did not change the fact that a President could even think that something like this would be termed as something appropriate or something he could be done and dusted with.