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

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGraham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial Democrats seize on new evidence in first public impeachment hearing MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyKent, Taylor say they're not 'Never Trumpers' after Trump Twitter offensive GOP counsel acknowledges 'irregular channel' between U.S. and Ukraine The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings 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 TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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 BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides 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 PerryOvernight Energy: Trump officials suspend oil, gas production on Utah plots after lawsuit | California bucks Trump on lightbulb rollback | Scientists join Dems in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule GOP counsel acknowledges 'irregular channel' between U.S. and Ukraine Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing MORE told The Wall Street Journal this week that he had been told to talk to Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSenate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges Key takeaways from first public impeachment hearing Diplomat ties Trump closer to Ukraine furor 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.