President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday night to drag TV news pundits away from the Michael Cohen GMA interview story by announcing Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management & Budget, would become “acting” Chief of Staff, replacing John Kelly:
Mulvaney was on a long list of men who had signaled to the White House that they were not interested in the job.
Trump, however, stoutly insisted that he had “10-12” chief of staff wannabes pounding down his door, telling Reuters, “Everybody wants it…Who doesn’t want to be one of the top few people in Washington, D.C.?”
The growing list of people not wanting to be one of the top few people in Washington D.C. included Veep Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers, described by Chris Whipple, the guy who literally wrote the book on White House chiefs of staff, as a “36-year-old, sharp-elbowed political operative” who Trump planned to name his next. Team Trump, including Javanka who had championed Ayers, was stunned when Ayers instead turned it down, to spend more time with his family.
Also giving a “no thanks”: Chris Christie, Rick Santorum, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and former Trump campaign deputy manager David Bossie. Rep Mark Meadows also was under consideration, only Trump decided he was too important to Trump in his capacity as chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
Mulvaney is the guy who who famously said in April, of his former gig as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives: “If you were a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you were a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”
White House Chief of Staff is a particularly perilous job in the Trump administration; he’s already jettisoned two via Twitter — Reince Priebus and, most recently, John Kelly — the latter ending months of speculation he was on the outs.