Donald Trump picks Mick Mulvaney as acting White House chief of staff – Donald Trump’s America



December 15, 2018 10:34:08

US President Donald Trump has picked budget director Mick Mulvaney to be his next chief of staff, ending a chaotic search for a replacement for outgoing John Kelly.

Key points:

  • Mick Mulvaney is a former Tea Party congressman who was among those who attacked Obamacare
  • Numerous other contenders, including Chris Christie, had turned down the position
  • Donald Trump praised John Kelly, who had served in the role for more than a year

In a tweet, Mr Trump said Mr Mulvaney would take over from retired Marines General Mr Kelly, who has served for more than a year and will continue in the post until the end of the month.

Though deemed an “acting” chief of staff, Mr Mulvaney will serve an open-ended term, according to a senior White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The position does not require confirmation.

Mr Mulvaney, who will be Mr Trump’s third chief of staff, will now take on his third job in the administration; he is the head of the Office of Management and had simultaneously led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A former Tea Party congressman, Mr Mulvaney was among a faction on the hard right that bullied GOP leaders into a 2013 government shutdown confrontation by insisting on lacing a must-pass spending bill with provisions designed to cripple former president Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

A long search for Kelly’s replacement

The appointment of the affable, fast-talking South Carolinian came just hours after another candidate for the post, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, took himself out of contention for the job.

Mr Christie cited family reasons in a statement saying he was asking Mr Trump to remove him from consideration.

He had met with Mr Trump on Thursday (local time) to discuss the job, according to a person familiar with the meeting who was not authorised to discuss it publicly.

Mr Christie’s departure is the latest twist in a search triggered when Mr Trump’s preferred candidate to replace Mr Kelly bowed out.

Nick Ayers, Vice-President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, made himself unavailable after being unable to come to an agreement on how long he would serve in the role.

Mr Trump said on Thursday that he was weighing five possibilities.

Among the others he considered were his 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Trump senior aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who had also been the subject of speculation, signalled his lack of interest.

The names of acting Attorney-General Matthew Whitaker and even White House communications director Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had also been floated.

Mr Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, served for six months before leaving in July 2017.






First posted

December 15, 2018 09:43:40

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