In an examination into how “acting” White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is adapting to his new job serving Donald Trump, an administration insider claimed Mulvaney is hanging onto “acting” attached to his official title so he can quickly step aside without suffering the ignominy of having the president fire him.
According to Politico, Mulvaney is forging ahead with installing personal loyalists in White House jobs to assist him after taking over for ousted Chief of Staff John Kelly who left under a cloud of recriminations and chaos at the White House.
Politico reports, “While it’s not surprising for any new chief of staff to install people he knows and trusts in top jobs, administration officials say, Mulvaney’s latest moves illustrate the extent to which he is settling into his new job despite its temporary-seeming title.”
According to a Republican source with close ties to the Oval Office, Mulvaney is in no hurry to drop “acting” from his title because it gives him a graceful “out” if his relationship with the volatile Trump takes a turn for the worse.
“By keeping the ‘acting’ title, he gives himself an out in case things go south,” the anonymous source relayed. “He can say he was only the acting chief, if his relationship with the president sours in six months. Then, he won’t be fired.”
The report goes on to state that, by placing so many of his people in the White House, Mulvaney may be making it harder for Trump to oust him like he has his two previous chiefs of staff: Kelly and former RNC head Reince Priebus.
“The hiring moves could make it harder for the White House to once again swap in a new chief of staff. In Trump’s two years in office, he went through two chiefs of staff before landing on this third. Reince Priebus, who first held the role, lasted only six months. His replacement, Kelly, made it to 18 months, but spent much of that time fighting off speculation about his job security and trying to manage the White House’s infighting, with constant reports that he and the president weren’t getting along,” Politico reports, before adding, “With roughly half a dozen Mulvaney acolytes in place, ousting the acting chief of staff would raise even more questions about staff churn in an administration already known for high turnover.”
You can read more about the changes Mulvaney is bringing to the White House here.