Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was quick to refute the spin of an MSNBC reporter in real time on Wednesday, walking past a live broadcast before turning around to push back against the journalist's claim that "Republicans are really struggling to defend" President Donald Trump in the midst of impeachment proceedings launched against him by House Democrats.
What are the details?
MSNBC reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell was in the middle of a live shot from Capitol Hill when she noticed Meadows approaching and asked him to speak with her. Meadows continued past Caldwell at a brisk pace as the reporter told her audience, "Republicans are really struggling to defend the president."
With that, Meadows did an about-face, stepped back into the camera frame and argued, "I'm not struggling on anything. The Republicans are not struggling on anything."
Meadows continued to speak with Caldwell as additional reporters gathered around. After a brief back-and-forth, Caldwell asked Meadows, "Big picture...is it getting more difficult to defend this president as more of these testimonies come out?"
"No, actually," Meadows responded. "As we hear more testimony — in fact, the testimony that we're hearing today — it's actually getting easier to defend the president from the standpoint there is no linkage between aid. In fact, what we're hearing today, is this is part of a broader analysis in foreign aid in general in terms of what we should do. It wasn't just Ukraine where the aid was held up."
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump based on allegations that the White House withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the country's government to relaunch a corruption probe against a Ukrainian gas firm linked to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Hill reported that Republicans have argued the White House had no such quid pro quo with Ukraine, while Democrats have argued "that the mere attempt by Trump to persuade Ukraine's president to open an investigation into Biden constitutes an attempt to solicit foreign interference in a U.S. election."