President Donald Trump has reportedly been considering his options when it comes to replacing acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. From the sound of things, Trump has been thinking about making a change with this position for a while now, but Mulvaney’s recent on-air gaffes may make it that much harder for the president to keep Mulvaney in his administration.
The buzz has been that Trump’s been unhappy with Mulvaney for a while now. However, the president has also reportedly been concerned about the optics of firing his third chief of staff and moving on to a fourth.
In addition, there does seem to be some concern and speculation that it may be better for Trump to keep Mulvaney on his staff rather than fire him. If Trump were to get rid of Mulvaney, he runs the risk of Mulvaney deciding to open up to Congress about what he knows regarding Ukraine and other hot-topic issues.
Now, Bloomberg says that about a month ago, Trump floated a couple of ideas regarding a Mulvaney replacement. This would seemingly indicate that Mulvaney was already falling out of favor with the president. This was even before the recent on-camera appearances he made that went fairly poorly in terms of White House messaging regarding Ukraine and the impeachment inquiry.
Sources say that Trump has asked some advisers what they think of putting Kellyanne Conway in the position of chief of staff. In addition, the president apparently tossed out the idea of Steven Mnuchin stepping into the chief of staff role in a room filled with staff, a group that included the current treasury secretary.
It seems that Trump also mentioned the possibility of moving Chris Liddell, a current deputy chief of staff, into Mulvaney’s role.
Some White House insiders say that Trump regularly floats these types of ideas, so these recent quips were nothing out of the ordinary. Apparently, these remarks are often designed to flatter staff members or keep others feeling a bit uncertain of their place in the administration.
White House insiders indicate that Trump is not seriously looking at moving Mnuchin from treasury secretary into the chief of staff role. While Mnuchin is one of the few original administration members who remains on-staff and in the president’s good graces, moving him from the Treasury department could rattle the markets.
Late Tuesday night, the president did take to Twitter to declare this as “fake news.” He said he never discussed the chief of staff job with either Mnuchin or Conway. Granted, Bloomberg didn’t say that Trump ever approached Mnuchin or Conway in a serious discussion regarding replacing Mulvaney. They simply said that the president had been floating the possibilities.
Will acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney end up leaving the Trump administration? If Trump does decide to put someone new in that position, many will be interested to see who he decides to tap for the spot next.