Sometimes after a tough news week the White House will duck the Sunday shows, believing that silence is preferable to clean-up under cross-examination. Not today. Two major players in recent news will be out to face this music this morning, starting with Mick Mulvaney. He’ll drop by “Fox News Sunday” to try to clean up the rhetorical turd he left on the carpet on Thursday when he admitted that military aid for Ukraine had been held back to pressure them to investigate the CrowdStrike matter. Chris Wallace, now the undisputed face of “hard news” at Fox with Shepard Smith’s departure, will press him on why we shouldn’t believe that Trump also had the Biden/Burisma matter in mind as part of the quid pro quo. And why Mulvaney put out that goofy statement after Thursday’s press conference insisting that he never said what he plainly said hours earlier.
Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo will sit down with “This Week” fresh off his trip to Turkey with Mike Pence to discuss the notably Erdogan-friendly ceasefire agreement the two negotiated. According to the Times, Pompeo has been happy to let Pence take the blame — I mean “credit” — for the outcome:
The reality was that the agreement gave Mr. Erdogan everything he had hoped for — he gained territory and avoided sanctions — and it looked like a complete cave-in by the United States. And Mr. Pence was the impassive, uncomfortable face of a losing deal…
One possible clue that an association with the agreement might not be a winner, especially for a Republican, came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who arrived in Ankara on a separate plane from Mr. Pence, and made it clear he was there strictly in a support role to back up the vice president. (His trip also extended to Jerusalem and Brussels, and his plane departed before Mr. Pence’s.)
He’ll chat with George Stephanopoulos about what happens if the Kurds haven’t evacuated the Syrian border region per Erdogan’s demands once the ceasefire expires on Tuesday. And of course he’ll be challenged on why Rudy Giuliani and Rick Perry, not Pompeo’s own State Department, were apparently in charge of negotiating with Ukraine about the “corruption” investigations the president was interested in.
If none of that grabs you, Pete Buttigieg will appear on “Meet the Press,” “State of the Union,” and “Fox News Sunday” to show off his new brand as a center-leftist just in time for the decline phase of Joe Biden’s candidacy. And two right-wing congressmen who’ve broken with the GOP in different ways will turn up to discuss their issues with Trump. It’ll be Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash on “Meet the Press” and retiring Republican Will Hurd on “Face the Nation.” Both will be asked about Syria and impeachment, of course, as well as the spectacle of Trump attempting to award the contract to host the G7 to his own Florida resort. Frankly, that line of questioning from Wallace may be harder for Mulvaney to answer than the “quid pro quo” stuff is. The full line-up is at the AP.