Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN, Washington
Updated 4:49 AM ET, Fri October 18, 2019
Get over it.
That apt mission doctrine for a presidency blazing with abuses of power, conflicts of interest and unhinged behavior is the work of White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, whose barn burner of a briefing on a day of political train wrecks, staggering misdirection and reality bending sent a clear message.
Democrats can impeach President Donald Trump, Republicans can bemoan his betrayal of the Kurds and the media can fact-check him till the cows come home — but nothing is going to restrain or moderate him. In fact, he’s becoming ever more incorrigible.
The President’s brazen willingness to do exactly what he wants — key to his appeal to voters angry with the political establishment in 2016 — shone through a wild few hours that briefly stole the spotlight from the Democratic impeachment inquiry.
First, Mulvaney blew away the cobwebs in the White House Briefing Room by announcing that the President would hold next year’s G7 summit at his Doral resort in Florida.
Even for an administration that has redefined the concept of conflicts of interests, this is a staggering move. Mulvaney insisted with a straight face that Trump would not profit from the summit, even though millions of dollars from foreign delegations will flood into the coffers of the struggling resort and bring a worldwide branding boost.
Then Mulvaney made an even more unabashed declaration, admitting that Trump did freeze nearly $400 million in aid to coerce Ukraine into investigating his Democratic opponents.
“Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said, coining an instant classic phrase that will help historians understand the story of Trump’s presidency. Trump’s time in office embodies a defiant repudiation that this presidency should be subject to conventional standards of ethics and accountability.