"At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality industry," Mulvaney Wallace told of Trump's initial decision to hold the next G-7 summit at his resort in Doral, Florida. reversed late Saturday.
"I just have to pick up: You say he considers himself in the hospitality industry?" Wallace asked. "He is the President of the United States."
Mulvaney's interview did not play well among Trump's allies and advisers, with one calling it "self-immolation."
More generally, it was the latest sign of turbulence during the acting chief of staff's approximately ten month period. It was also a symbol of the fight in this White House to deal with and fight back against the Democrats' violence investigation, all while facing deep criticism from other Republicans over the administration's handling of Syria and the G-7 arena. During the past week, the White House aides have been under siege. A former administrative official called it the White House's worst weeks during Trump's presidency, and aides and allies began to ponder the length of Mulvaney's post in the West Wing.
In recent months, Jared Kushner, the president's senior adviser and son-in-law, has become tired of Mulvaney at various points and has spoken poorly about his laissez-faire leadership style, said a Republican near the White House. For starters, Kushner was quite happy with Mulvaney's hands-off strategy because of his departure from General John Kelly, Mulvaney's immediate predecessor, and because it allowed Kushner to work freely. Still, that feeling has diminished in recent months, the Republican said, as the White House has begun to feel more chaotic.
A senior executive said that Kushner supports Mulvaney as acting chief of staff and that when there have been complications in the White House, Mulvaney and Kushner have a close enough relationship to "hash it out."
The White House press office declined to comment record Sunday. Later, it did not respond when asked about the White House's aides or allies compiled lists for Mulvaney's replacement.
The ABC News "" This Week with George Stephanopoulos, " Former New Jersey Chief of State Chris Christie, long-time friend of the President, called Trump's then-reversed decision to keep G-7 on Doral one" unforced mistake "and Mulvaney's Thursday conference" a mistake. "
Rahm Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Barack Obama and a former mayor of Chicago, had his own advice for Mulvaney on the same program:" Get yourself a lawyer and do it quickly . "
Christie added:" I have said this to the president as of late this week. We must be in a friendly position. OK? It is a time to fight and it is a time to be in friendship mode, certainly towards your own party. And right now, when you face reconciliation ̵
Mulvaney tried to help on that front by hosting Republican lawmakers at Camp David over the weekend.
He appeared on TV twice this past week to publicly defend the president at a time when few other top officials are willing to go airborne, and he agreed on Thursday to go on camera to deliver the news that the president intended to keep G-7 in one of his locations, though several White House officials, from attorneys to provide staff to operating aides,
"It is not lost on me that if we had made the decision [on Doral] on Thursday, we would not have had the press conference on Thursday about everything else. It is good," Mulvaney told Wallace at " Fox News Sunday. ”
Another senior administrative official said some White House employees had been frustrated by the media's reaction to Mulvaney's behavior, but that Mulvaney himself was still focused on his job and fighting for the president.
Several White House aides and Trump allies assume that Mulvaney's job is safe during the procedure. That's partly, they say, because no one else wants the chief of staff right now and partly because Mulvaney is too much in the middle of Ukraine's scandal for Trump to unduly dump him as he has done with other senior aides such as John Bolton, his former national security adviser.