Former U.S. congressman and federal budget director Mick Mulvaney is out as White House chief of staff, U.S. president Donald Trump announced on Friday evening. Mulvaney will be replaced in the role by U.S. congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina.
“I have long known and worked with Mark, and the relationship is a very good one,” Trump tweeted. “I want to thank acting chief Mick Mulvaney for having served the administration so well. He will become the United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.”
The announcement of Mulvaney’s new role surprised many politicos, who assumed he would return to his former post as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Mulvaney assumed the role of acting chief of staff in December of 2018 after spending two years as OMB director. He was Trump’s third chief of staff, following retired U.S. Marine Corps general John Kelly and former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus.
Meadows – who serves as chairman of the U.S. House Freedom Caucus – was considered for the chief of staff position in 2018 before Trump awarded it to Mulvaney.
Mulvaney took over as chief of staff at a critical moment in Trump’s presidency – and he saw the administration all the way through the impeachment drama in the U.S. House of Representatives, the chamber where he served from 2011-2017 as the representative for South Carolina’s fifth congressional district.
Rather than fight Trump over his trademark bravado and bombast, Mulvaney instead adopted a “Let Trump Be Trump” philosophy – keeping his head down and remaining focused on running an efficient, effective administration.
Well, usually …
Last October, Mulvaney drew gasps when he held a press conference at the peak of the so-called “Ukrainian meddling” scandal – offering a perspective on the situation that seemed to confirm Democrats’ allegations against Trump (and debunk months of White House messaging).
“I have news for everybody,” Mulvaney said during a bombshell press briefing at the White House. “There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy. That is going to happen.”
“Get over it,” Mulvaney added.
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(Via: Gage Skidmore)
That incident aside, we viewed the 52-year-old Alexandria, Virginia native as “a stabilizing figure in the White House – (one) focused on running the government while Trump ran the D.C. political circus through his Twitter account.”
We also noted how Mulvaney “diligently advanced the Trump agenda in the executive and judicial branches of government.”
The mainstream media highlighted Mulvaney’s successes, too, with The Washington Post running a feature story last summer that claimed he was “building an empire for the right wing.”
Accordingly, we believe his departure from the White House is a net negative for the administration.
Mulvaney, who lives in Indian Land, S.C. with his wife and three children, spent four years in the S.C. General Assembly before winning election to the U.S. congress – defeating longtime incumbent Democrat John Spratt during the Tea Party wave election of 2010. He was reelected three times but gave up his seat at the beginning of his fourth term to serve in the Trump administration.
What’s next for him? Aside from the whole “Irish envoy” thing?
We shall see …
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