Donald Trump laid to rest the speculations surrounding his next chief of staff on Friday by tweeting that Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget Director, would replace the outgoing John Kelly when he departs the White House in January.
“Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,” tweeted the president. “I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
“For the record, there were MANY people who wanted to be the White House Chief of Staff. Mick M will do a GREAT job!” he added.
But while Trump might have spoken glowingly about his next chief of staff, expressing confidence in Mulvaney’s ability, it appears the feeling is not mutual. According to the Daily Beast, Mulvaney has not even been a closet critic of Trump, and right before he got elected on November 8, 2016, the man set to be the next chief of staff called him “a terrible human being”.
Speaking before a gathering at the York Middle School in York, South Carolina, on November 2, 2016, Mulvaney made the remark during a debate with his then-congressional challenger, Democrat Fran Person. He said that he was forced to support Trump because even though he was a “terrible human being”, he was better than liberal Hillary Clinton who would lead the country in the wrong direction.
“Yes, I am supporting Donald Trump, but I’m doing so despite the fact that I think he’s a terrible human being.”
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 15, 2018
While Mulvaney’s serious takedown of Trump is not the only one among members of his administration, Mulvaney is now certainly one of the highest-ranking members of the Trump team who criticized him before he was elected. As the Daily Beast reported, there have been others as well. Rick Perry, who now serves as the Secretary of Energy in Trump’s administration, called his presidential campaign a “cancer on conservatism”. One of Trump’s most vehement defenders in the White House, Kellyanne Conway, had launched a scathing criticism of the future president for his refusal to release his tax returns and had attacked his “vulgar” rhetoric.
Even with his view of Trump as a “terrible human being”, though, Mulvaney is set to fill Kelly’s shoes. But he has reportedly made it clear that he doesn’t want to be Trump’s chief of staff beyond a stipulated time period. When a reporter asked a White House source why Mulvaney wasn’t filling the position permanently, the source said: “Why would he? He’s a sane man.”