US President Donald Trump on Friday moved to end speculation that he was having a hard time finding a new chief of staff, naming his budget chief Mick Mulvaney to the top post on a temporary basis.
Mulvaney, a hard-charging conservative and former congressman, will be the third person in two years to try to bring order to what has often been a chaotic White House. Trump named him after two other prominent candidates withdrew from consideration in the space of a week.
“For the record, there were MANY people who wanted to be the White House Chief of Staff,” Trump said on Twitter. “Mick M will do a GREAT job!”
The job is seen as one of the most important jobs in Washington: the gatekeeper to the president charged with marshalling the resources of the office to carry out his priorities.
The most recent occupant - John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general - had some success in restoring order after he was appointed in July 2017, but had a rocky relationship with Trump. Kelly will stay through the end of December.
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....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018
“Donald Trump desperately needs a White House chief who can execute his agenda, and you can’t do that if you have an expiration date on your forehead,” Whipple said.