White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is drawing the ire of lawmakers as the government shutdown drags on, reports Politico.
According to ten former and current administration officials and close White House advisers who spoke with Politico, Mulvaney has been unsuccessfully lobbying lawmakers to give President Donald Trump funding for his border wall. Mulvaney reportedly advised the president to stick to his demand for $5.7 billion in funding.
But Democrats—and a few Republicans—are resolute in their stance to not release the funds. As the government shutdown reached it's 35th day Friday, with 800,000 federal employees going without pay, the optics look increasingly bad for Trump. Even his avid supporters are upset about the shutdown, which is now causing airports to ground flights.
“Mulvaney’s big selling point is that he's a political guy, but he seems to have screwed this up and put us in a box,” a Republican close to the White House told Politico. “It’s not like the president or others are saying, ‘This is Mick’s fault’ but he cheered it on.”
Another Republican noted that Mulvaney's impotence fits into the president's preferred behavior for top staff.
“This is what the president wants. He wants a chief of staff who isn’t in charge of anything. Mulvaney is the right man for the job,” another Republican close to the White House told Politico.
Mulvaney replaced John Kelly, who signed a letter this week pleading for an end to the government shutdown.