As the Ukraine scandal continues to escalate and President Donald Trump inches closer and closer to just declaring himself God King for Life, one particularly prominent White House figure has been basically nowhere to be seen: Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, who has never actually been promoted from “acting” chief of staff, has been noticeably absent from cable news lately, and Politico reports that Mulvaney hasn’t “had any success in setting up an internal White House war room to respond to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.” Instead, Mulvaney has just kind of faded into the background. “Mick is lying low, but everyone is lying low,” a “former senior administration official” told Politico. “White House aides are hoping the president deals with this himself, and everyone is trying to keep their heads down...Popping your head up will only lead to bad things.” Seems like a very normal way for a democratic country to be run.
If all of this sounds familiar—anonymously sourced stories about how the White House chief of staff is failing to control the White House during anything remotely resembling a crisis—it’s because we heard essentially the same thing about John Kelly and Reince Priebus for months before they made their respective exits from the Trump administration. Like those two, Mulvaney is described as competing with senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to lead the White House response to impeachment. Unlike those two, he’s also competing with the rotting roll of gabbagool cosplaying as Rudy Giuliani to guide Trump’s response.
One positive, though, is that this Mulvaney story produced what is hands down the funniest quote about the Trump White House that I’ve ever read in my life. Per Politico, emphasis mine:
The person added that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has also sought to guide his father-in-law’s response to impeachment. Kushner, who was against setting up an internal war room, has encouraged the White House to outsource as much of its political response as possible to the president‘s reelection campaign, according to two sources familiar with internal deliberations, one of whom said Mulvaney and Kushner have been “working together for the most part, but don’t always see eye to eye.”
“Jared is as tough as they come … and I just don’t know whether Mulvaney is on that level. Does he take prisoners?” the Republican close to the White House said.
Yes, Mick, ask yourself this: Do you take prisoners, like Jared?