Schiff: Mulvaney comments on Ukraine aid have made things 'much, much worse'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump allies throw jabs at Bolton over book's claims GOP senator plans to ask about Bidens, whistleblower in impeachment trial Parnas asks court for permission to turn over more evidence to Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneySenate Republicans to meet Tuesday afternoon on witness question Graham: There will be 51 GOP votes to call Bidens, whistleblower John Kelly: 'I believe John Bolton' MORE’s comments linked the withholding of aid to Ukraine to investigations into the 2016 election have made things "much worse" for the president. 

“I think Mr. Mulvaney’s acknowledgment means that things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse,” Schiff, a key Democrat in the impeachment inquiry of President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE, told reporters Thursday. 

Schiff demurred when asked how Mulvaney’s comments would affect the pace of the House’s impeachment inquiry.

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Schiff later expanded on his comments when speaking to reporters before heading back into a closed-door deposition of Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. 

“The idea that vital military systems would be withheld for such a patently political reason, for the reason of serving the president's reelection campaign, is a phenomenal breach of the president's duty to defend our national security,” Schiff said.

Schiff added that he hopes every member of Congress, Democrat and Republican, will “speak out and condemn this illicit action by the president and his chief of staff.” 

Schiff did not respond to questions over whether Mulvaney will be brought in to testify as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. 

The California lawmaker's comments come after Mulvaney had earlier indicated that the Trump administration held up military aid to Ukraine in part because officials wanted Kiev to investigate unproven election interference allegations linking the country to a Democratic National Committee (DNC) server.

“I have news for everybody. Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy ... that’s going to happen. Elections have consequences,” Mulvaney told reporters Thursday, saying “we do that all the time with foreign policy" when asked if a “quid pro quo” was involved in the eventual release of the aid.

Mulvaney denied any aid was withheld to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPerry delegation talking points stressed pushing Ukraine to deal with 'corruption' GOP senator airs anti-Biden ad in Iowa amid impeachment trial Biden photobombs live national news broadcast at one of his rallies MORE and his son.

The comments came the same day that Sondland testified. He was expected to tell members that a text message in which he said Trump “didn’t want a quid pro quo ... didn’t want anything from Ukraine” was dictated by Trump himself.

Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryPerry delegation talking points stressed pushing Ukraine to deal with 'corruption' Trump: Senate should decide on witnesses; Bolton testimony poses national security risk Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial MORE told The Wall Street Journal this week that he had been told to talk to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiLawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet Perry delegation talking points stressed pushing Ukraine to deal with 'corruption' Giuliani calls Bolton a 'backstabber' over Ukraine allegations MORE to set up a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and that Giuliani had repeatedly invoked conspiracy theories about the 2016 election and Biden.

-- Updated at 4:02 p.m.