Trump Says Mulvaney Will Remain as White House Chief of Staff
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump said Mick Mulvaney will remain as his chief of staff following the president’s acquittal in the Senate‘s impeachment trial, as the White House prepares to purge other officials.
Trump said while departing the White House on Friday that a CNN report that Mulvaney’s future is in doubt was a “false report.” He answered “yes” when asked if he would keep his chief of staff, who remains in an acting capacity.
The White House is weighing a plan to dismiss Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council after he delivered damning testimony about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine in the House impeachment inquiry, according to people familiar with the matter. Asked if Vindman was on his way out, Trump said “they’ll be making that decision.”
“I’m not happy with him,” Trump said Friday. Vindman is a lieutenant colonel in the Army who was detailed to the NSC, and while he can be transferred out of the White House, the president’s ability to further retaliate against him may be limited.
The president has previously mulled replacing Mulvaney, his third chief of staff. In the fall, he discussed with advisers whether Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should replace Mulvaney, a former congressman from South Carolina. CNN reported Friday Mulvaney’s job was in jeopardy and that Representative Mark Meadows, a vocal Trump supporter, is a top candidate to replace him.
“That was a false report. I have a great relationship with Mick. I have a great relationship with Mark,” Trump said Friday.
The Senate acquitted Trump of two articles of impeachment on Wednesday. House Democrats charged that he had abused his power by withholding U.S. military aid from Ukraine in order to force the country’s government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and that Trump obstructed the House investigation by refusing to provide documents and trying to stop government officials from testifying.
Several officials including Vindman nonetheless complied with House subpoenas and testified in the inquiry.
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