US President taps budget head Mulvaney as acting chief of staff

Vastavam web: Donald Trump announced Friday that his budget director Mick Mulvaney will step in as acting chief of staff to replace John Kelly — amid indications the president is struggling to fill the key post. Trump, whose presidency is increasingly embroiled in legal troubles, announced earlier this month that Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, was leaving. Kelly, who reportedly fell out with other close Trump aides, is only the latest in a long string of high-ranking officials to quit the embattled White House. However, even with several weeks’ notice, Trump appears to be having difficulty in finding the right replacement.

“For the record, there were MANY people who wanted to be the White House Chief of Staff. Mick M will do a GREAT job!” Trump wrote. His widely reported first choice, Nick Ayres, announced last weekend that he did not want the post. Ayres, a 36-year-old Republican consultant currently serving as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, was seen as a good fit for Trump’s plan to start focusing on his 2020 re-election. With Democrats taking over the House of Representatives in January and special prosecutor Robert Mueller near the end of an explosive probe into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia during the 2016 election, the president is believed to be seeking a sharp political operator.

Mulvaney, a conservative Republican former congressman, is currently head of the White House budget management office, which oversees federal spending and administers the federal budget. He was also previously acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which protects consumers when they take loans and use credit cards. While in the job, Mulvaney provoked anger in the Democratic Party with his campaign to downgrade the agency. His new appointment appears to give Trump some breathing space ahead of the holidays, which the president will spend mostly at his Florida resort.

But a question still hangs on who can do the difficult job in the long term. Kelly was often described as “the adult in the room” during the turbulent period since his appointment in July 2017.