Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s disastrous press conference on Thursday has riled up some of Donald Trump’s most avid defenders who are now talking behind his back and on conservative talk radio for hurting the president.
According to a report at the Daily Beast, not only was the press stunned by Mulvaney’s admission that the administration indulges in quid pro quo negotiating — with the high-ranking White House official snapping “Get over it” at reporters — but conservatives were also appalled at the damage he did to Trump despite attempting to disavow his own words hours later.
Fox News host Sean Hannity took to his radio show on Thursday afternoon and likely got the president’s attention by blistering Mulvaney by saying, “What is Mulvaney even talking about? I just think he’s dumb, I really do. I don’t even think he knows what he’s talking about. That’s my take on it.”
Hannity was not the only one, with administration spokespeople attempting to put distance between themselves and the man whose main job is for keeping the White House on a steady keel.
“The bad reviews came from within the Trump administration itself,” the Beast reports. “Not long after Mulvaney left the briefing room, a senior Department of Justice official began telling reporters that DOJ wasn’t aware that Ukraine military aid and the Justice Department’s probe into the potential origins of the Russia investigation were linked. ‘If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation with any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us,’ the official told Fox News.”
A former associate of Mulvaney’s who has known him since he served in the South Carolina State Senate also got in his shot, saying Mulvaney has too high of an opinion of his abilities.
“He is a smart guy, a very smart guy, but he’s only about 70 percent as smart as he thinks he is,” explained GOP strategist Terry Sullivan. “There’s only one person in that entire White House that has a bigger ego than he does, but it’s not by much.”
The Beast goes on to note that Trump attorney Jay Sekulow also wanted nothing to do with the comments the president’s adviser blurted on national TV, issuing a terse “statement that, while not directly criticizing Mulvaney or his briefing, unequivocally stated that the president’s outside lawyers had nothing to do with it.”
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