President Trump supposedly began testing the idea of replacing his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney well before his aide’s messy attempt to clean up his quid pro quo admission of withholding aid to Ukraine last week.
According to a Bloomberg report Tuesday, Trump has been quietly mulling a Mulvaney replacement in the weeks leading up to the disastrous press conference last Thursday, when Mulvaney made the stunning admission.
Bloomberg reports that about a month ago, Trump told Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in front of other White House staffers: You have such great ideas, why don’t you be my chief?
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Trump has also made similar remarks about White House Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell and has asked advisers whether his counselor Kellyanne Conway would be a good fit for the role.
However, Bloomberg noted that some White House aides said that Trump regularly tests out similar ideas in conversation — sometimes to flatter his aides or to just keep others guessing.
One person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Mnuchin is not under formal consideration for chief of staff, and that despite being one of Trump’s most loyal aides, his removal could rattle the markets.
CNN reported Monday that Mulvaney’s interview on “Fox News Sunday” only added more salt to the wound of Trump’s frustration with his acting chief of staff’s fraught clean-up attempts. Additionally, the New York Times reported Monday that Trump was so displeased with Mulvaney after his Thursday presser that he reached out to Nick Ayers, former aide to Vice President Mike Pence, soon after.
Last Sunday, CNN reported that top White House officials actively sought Mulvaney’s replacement before House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry into Trump.