Trump Names Mick Mulvaney as 'Acting' White House Chief of Staff, Calls John Kelly a 'Great Patriot'
Donald Trump has found his replacement for White House Chief of Staff.
Six days after confirming John Kelly’s exit, the president named Mick Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, as the next successor.
“I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,” Trump wrote in his first of two statements on Twitter.
“I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!” he continued.
Trump did not specify if Mulvaney, 51, will remain as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
On Dec. 8, Trump told reporters at an Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia that Kelly will be leaving the administration at the end of the year. News of Kelly’s departure came after the retired general was expected to resign following a tumultuous battle in the White House with the president.
Kelly held the position of chief of staff for nearly 17 months after he replaced Reince Priebus in July 2017.
Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, House Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, and Vice President Mike Pence’s top aide Nick Ayers all turned down the chief of staff position as reported by multiple outlets.
On Thursday, Trump told Fox News that his choice for chief of staff would be “somebody that’s strong but I want somebody that thinks like I do.”
Before news of Mulvaney’s appointment was made public, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is currently a senior advisor to the president, was a contender.
Kushner, who is married to the president’s daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump, met with Trump on Wednesday to discuss the position, according to CBS. In addition, an anonymous source told Reuters that recently “numerous people” have recommended that Kushner fill the role because he is close to Trump and has had successes, like helping to create new trade deals with Canada and Mexico.