Rick Santorum says he would decline White House chief of staff role

Saul Bowman
December 18, 2018

President Donald Trump's budget director and soon-to-be acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, called Trump "a bad human being" during a campaign debate in 2016.

Mulvaney was at the White House earlier on Friday to meet with Trump, the official said.

Mulvaney, 51, will replace retired U.S. Marine Corps general John Kelly on an interim basis beginning January 1.

According to reports, Mulvaney was named acting chief, rather than chief, because Trump wants, in effect, to audition him. Whoever replaces him will be Trump's third chief of staff in less than two years in office, as he attempts to navigate perhaps the most turbulent period of his presidency and an incoming Democratic House of Representatives.

A source familiar with the situation told CNN's Jim Acosta that the President wants Mulvaney to remain OMB director while serving as acting chief of staff. I know the president has a long list of tremendous candidates for his next Chief of Staff, and whomever it is will have my total support moving forward.

Ayers, who had cited family concerns as a reason why he didn't accept the post, tweeted Friday: "The right father of triplets got the job..."


Speculation has swirled around an array of Trump associates, but that's led some to distance themselves from the job.

The wild process was hardly a novelty for the Trump administration, which has struggled with high staff turnover and attracting top talent, but it underscored the tumult of Trump's Washington. "Mick M will do a GREAT job!"

One-time deputy campaign manager David Bossie was seen at the White House Friday where he's expected to speak with the president about the position. The official also said that Kelly was pleased with his successor.

But he has recently enjoyed a closer relationship with Trump and the White House and has become one of the White House's close advisers.

When he was working at the House of Representatives, Mulvaney, who is a South Carolina Republican, was one of the people who worked towards creating the Blockchain Caucus, which is a group of lawmakers that write and create new laws for emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency. And while a senior official told reporters there was no time limit to Mulvaney's tenure in the post and that he was only given the "acting" title because "the President wanted it that way", the use of that word implies there will be a successor. And neither of 'em get along with Jared Kushner.

This is not the first time Trump has turned to Mulvaney in a pinch.

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