Hours after acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held a disastrous press briefing in which he acknowledged a quid pro quo with Ukraine and said politics were influencing President Donald Trump’s foreign policy decisions, Fox News host Laura Ingraham tried to blame Mulvaney’s performance on the fact that he isn’t a lawyer.
There’s just one problem with Ingraham’s theory: Mulvaney is a lawyer.
Midway through Thursday afternoon’s White House presser, the acting chief of staff said Trump mentioned the corruption he was concerned about in Ukraine was “related to the DNC server” and that was the reason “why we held up the money.” After admitting to a quid pro quo, Mulvaney added that everybody needs to “get over it” and realize there’s “going to be political influence in foreign policy.”
Discussing Mulvaney’s remarkable and damning comments on her primetime Fox News show Thursday night, Ingraham told her two guests—both attorneys—that Mulvaney struggled because he apparently wasn’t used to answering questions about legal issues.
“Look, I got to say, we’re all lawyers here,” she stated. “There’s a reason [Attorney General] Bill Barr doesn’t do a lot of press conferences, but he would know how to answer those questions. I’m not piling on Mulvaney, I don’t want to do that.”
“I don’t think that’s helpful,” Ingraham continued. “But when you have a legal issue before a lot of people who aren’t lawyers, the last thing you want to do is try to get out there and say a whole bunch of things really fast and then say, ‘Well, the context was,’ going back, and the reach back was—and then there’s not enough of a pause between one thought and another, and then they could say, ‘Aha, see, see, you did,’ and then have to go back and clean it up afterward.”
She went on to note that Mulvaney tried to walk back his comments later in the day, reading aloud his entire statement before adding: “You never want to have to come back and clarify, it happens, especially when you’re not used to doing these things on a regular basis.”
Mulvaney, meanwhile, graduated from the law school at the University of North Carolina in 1992 and spent the next five years practicing law with the firm James, McElroy & Diehl.
While Ingraham appeared to not realize that Mulvaney actually is a lawyer who once worked for a firm, at least she didn’t call him “dumb.”