NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday grilled Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin over the whistleblower complaint, which allegedly is about President Donald Trump asking Ukrainian officials to probe 2020 Democratic front-runner Vice President Joe Biden.

The Trump administration has been accused of pressuring the newly-elected Ukrainian president to open an investigation into the business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Ukrainian leaders decided against opening the investigation and the Trump administration withheld military aid. Following bipartisan pressure from Congress, the military aid was eventually released, along with an extra $140 million.

“Explain how, all of a sudden, when the aid got released, more money showed up. Where did that money come from?” Todd asked Mnuchin during a segment on NBC’s Meet the Press. “There was $250 million and they got an additional $140 million that they didn’t expect. Do you have any idea where that came from?”

“It was appropriated money, it came through the State Department,” the Treasury Secretary responded.

“They didn’t know they were getting this money. Is there any indication why they got the money when they did?” Todd pressed, to which Mnuchin shot back: “I’m not sure it’s correct for you to say they didn’t know they got the money.”

“The president said he was surprised to get it,” Todd explained. “The president of Ukraine said he was surprised to get an additional $140 million dollars. He said it was a pleasant surprise but that he was surprised.”

“I think he was referring to his expectations as opposed to necessarily a surprise,” Mnuchin said. “You’re getting into details again. These are foreign policy issues. They’ve been discussed at the National Security Council at the principles level. These were not connected issues.”

“Do you have any problems with Congress looking into any of this?” Todd asked.

“What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders,” Mnuchin responded.

An unidentified whistleblower, concerned about correspondence between Trump and Ukraine, filed an official complaint. It has not been established that the president’s administration withheld the aid because Ukraine refused to open an investigation. Nor has it been established that the additional $140 is linked to claims made by the whistleblower.

During a lengthy closed-door briefing with House Intelligence Committee members Thursday, Intelligence Inspector Michael Atkinson refused to allow lawmakers access to the complaint and its contents. In a letter to members of Congress on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the Trump administration for blocking its disclosure to lawmakers.

“The Administration’s blocking of Acting DNI Maguire from providing Congress with the whistleblower complaint calls upon him to violate the federal statute, which unequivocally states that the DNI ‘shall’ provide Congress this information,” she wrote, adding that the move is “endangering our national security and having a chilling effect on any future whistleblower who sees wrongdoing.”


NBC News’ Chuck Todd grilled Steve Mnuchin on the “additional $140 million” in aid that Ukraine received during a segment on “Meet the Press” this weekend.
NBC Screenshot

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