Some Republicans inch closer to Trump impeachment after Mulvaney comments

"Absolutely. No question", Mr Mulvaney said, referring to Mr Trump.

Other diplomats and former administration officials who have appeared before Congress have suggested that Sondland was a key player in efforts to push Ukraine to conduct investigations outside of normal diplomatic channels.

I mean some of the things that he says he doesn't remember, it would be very hard to believe that he didn't remember, I mean very specific things that, you know, are unique to different situations that they've discussed throughout the day.

"It's quite concerning, and I think we're going to get more information as we're seeing this happen rapidly", Kinzinger said Friday on CNN.

"Was he talking about just general corruption, or was he talking specifically about the Biden issue?". Senators serve as the jury on whether a president is guilty of any articles of impeachment approved by the House, and the Utah Republican said he will make his decision "when those facts are presented".

"I would ask you all to consider the possibility Donald Trump's brand is probably strong enough as it is and doesn't need any more help on that", Mulvaney told reporters during a rare White House press briefing.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski condemned the administration's alleged conversations with Ukraine after learning of Mulvaney's comments.

Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate whether a hacked Democratic National Committee server that was penetrated in 2016 resides in that country.

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Mr Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican President.

Mulvaney made the admission Thursday by confirming that Trump froze almost $400 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats. The conservative conspiracy theory has been widely debunked. In a Friday interview, Florida Representative Francis Rooney said Mulvaneys apparent admission of quid pro quo was troubling.

Mulvaney later tried to clarify his comments in a statement, blaming the media for distorting his words.

"Did he also mention to me in the past, the corruption related to the DNC server?"

"We've been very clear", he said.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney addresses reporters during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, Oct. 17, 2019.

United States President Donald Trump's withholding of US$391 million (S$534 million) in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim - debunked as a conspiracy theory - about the 2016 USA election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection. I did not and would not ever participate in such undertakings.

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