Donald Trump reportedly berated his chief of staff in a meeting with members of Congress, using some very salty language to show Mick Mulvaney how disappointed he was with his handling of shutdown negotiations.
The report from Axios claimed that Trump tore into Mulvaney during a January 4 meeting he had summoned with members of congress in an attempt to craft an end of the government shutdown. The report claimed that Trump grew angry with his new chief of staff after he inserted himself into a conversation about funding for the border wall.
According to sources in the room, Mulvaney said that if Democrats were not comfortable with authorizing $5.7 billion in border wall funding and Trump was not willing to accept the Democratic offer of $1.3 billion, they “should find a middle ground.”
“Trump cut him off… ‘You just f***ed it all up, Mick,'” the source claimed. “It was kind of weird.”
Another source said that Trump was trying to “reset” the negotiations and Mulvaney had failed to read the president.
Axios contacted the White House for comment, which did not directly deny the claims of Trump’s berating his chief of staff.
“This is an exaggerated account of the exchange that doesn’t reflect the good relationship Mulvaney has built over the last two years with the president,” the White House said.
Tensions appear to be growing related to the government shutdown, which is now the longest in American history. Trump himself has taken the lion’s share of the blame, with members of his own party growing increasingly vocal in calling for an end to the shutdown and showing willingness to pass legislation that could bypass the president entirely.
While Donald Trump has frequently blamed Democrats for the shutdown, the majority of Americans disagree. A series of polls this weekend showed that Americans blamed Trump and Republicans for the shutdown, including one from Washington Post/ABC News that found 53 percent of respondents blamed Trump and Republicans, another from CBS News/YouGov poll found that 47 percent blamed Trump, and a CNN poll found that 55 percent blamed Trump for the shutdown.
I suspect Mulvaney’s tenure as Acting Chief of Staff will soon come to an end, as Trump throws him under the bus and blames him for Trump’s forthcoming defeat on the shutdown. Wouldn’t be surprised if Trump brings over Whitaker as COS if Barr’s confirmed. https://t.co/ptxXZNbLKp— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 13, 2019
The tense exchange between Donald Trump and Mick Mulvaney is apparently not an isolated incident for the president. There have been a number of other reports of Trump dressing down his cabinet members during meetings, including an ABC News report from May that Trump berated Homeland Security director Kirstjen Nielsen for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.