Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made headlines earlier this week following a hectic press conference during which he appeared to accidentally admit that President Donald Trump had a quid pro quo agreement with the government of Ukraine.
Since then, Mulvaney has attempted to clean up the mess, making cable news appearances, and backtracking on his initial claim.
In one such appearance, on Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace, Mulvaney contradicted the claims he had made during the press conference, only to end up being challenged and confronted by the host.
Wallace played a video recording of Mulvaney saying that aid to Ukraine had been withheld for “three reasons,” one of which had to do with the Democrats.
The White House official nevertheless insisted that he had actually said two instead of three.
“That’s not what I said, that’s what people said I said,” he told Wallace.
Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with how his right-hand man is handling the impeachment process, according to a new report from CNN.
The report details the atmosphere in the Trump White House as House Democrats’ impeachment probe moves forward.
For Mulvaney, however, trouble began before impeachment.
Just as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was getting ready to launch a formal inquiry, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, was reportedly getting ready to get rid of the acting chief of staff.
Trump was reportedly unsure about getting rid of Mulvaney, and raised concerns about having four different chiefs of staff in three years.
Mulvaney’s performance during this week’s press briefing could help change the president’s mind, according to individuals briefed on the matter.
According to CNN‘s sources, Trump “has voraciously consumed news coverage about Mulvaney and has become more agitated.”
Trump has reportedly “grown increasingly frustrated with his acting chief of staff’s ability to properly communicate the White House’s impeachment strategy.”
According to sources, although Mulvaney appears to be “on shaky ground,” that does not mean the president wants to get rid of him immediately.
Mick Mulvaney tries to defend Trump's original G7 Doral decision: "At the end of the day, [Trump] still considers himself to be in the hospitality business."
Chris Wallace responds: "You say he considers himself in the hospitality business, he's the president of United States." pic.twitter.com/HDVyHz4GhS
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 20, 2019
However, Mulvaney allegedly worries that White House counsel Pat Cipollone is looking to take his job. The acting chief of staff has reportedly not been briefed on key legal issues pertaining to impeachment, which has left him frustrated with the counsel.
Other sources claim that Cipollone is not actually looking to take Mulvaney’s job — all the counsel wants is more influence, they claim.
In a statement, the White House said that Mulvaney is “still the acting chief of staff and has the president’s confidence,” and that his standing “has not changed.”