One of Trump's personal lawyers said, "The president's legal counsel was not involved in acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney's press briefing". But he was more forthright about another quid pro quo: that the president used the funds partly to force Ukraine to look into a conspiracy theory about Democrats plotting to manipulate the 2016 election and a missing computer server.
Mr Mulvaney's comments came after US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said in written testimony in the impeachment inquiry that Mr Trump told senior US officials to talk directly to his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani about US policy in Ukraine, raising concern that the President was outsourcing American foreign policy to a private citizen.
"Our view was that the men and women of the State Department, not the President's personal lawyer, should take responsibility for all aspects of US foreign policy towards Ukraine", he told lawmakers, according to his opening statement.
It marked a reversal for Kasich, who previously said he hadn't seen evidence of a quid pro quo on Trump's part.
Mulvaney made the admission Thursday by confirming that Trump froze almost $400 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine in part to pressure that country into investigating Democrats. "The only reasons we were holding the money was because of concern about lack of support from other nations and concerns over corruption", he said, adding, "There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server".
Kaitlan Collins said Mulvaney put Republicans "in a bind" after they'd been saying for weeks there was no quid pro quo.
Mr Trump also asked Mr Zelenskiy to investigate his possible presidential rival, Joe Biden - a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination -and Mr Biden's son Hunter Biden, who had served as a director for a Ukrainian energy company. This isn't backed up by any US intelligence agencies.
The admission from acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney undercut the president's position that there was no quid pro quo during Trump's phone call with the Ukraine president that sparked the House investigation.
He defended the move as proper.
The Democratic-led inquiry is trying to establish whether the Republican president withheld almost $400m (£327m) in aid to nudge Ukraine's president into launching an inquiry into Mr Biden - who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Mulvaney tried to walk back his trip up by issuing a statement that he had been misunderstood by the media, denying that there had been quid pro quo. He said that the White House didn't pick the resort because it may lead to future business that could enrich Trump. Kasich said on CNN's "Newsroom".
It is the latest interview in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.
The secretary is also under scrutiny over the role he played in the president's dealings with Ukraine.