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Trump promotes White House official to chief of staff as allies refuse offer

Trump promotes White House official to chief of staff as allies refuse offer

Trump promotes White House official to chief of staff as allies refuse offer
December 15
05:55 2018

US President Donald Trump has named a White House official as his acting chief of staff after a number of his close allies refused to take the high profile job.

The Republican president announced in a tweet Friday that Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, will replace General John Kelly, who is due to leave at the end of the year.

“Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration. I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!” the president wrote.

Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, was not the first choice for the job.

US President Donald Trump sits alongside Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (L), Linda McMahon (2nd R), Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and Mick Mulvaney (R), Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Trump promoted him hours after former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, rejected an offer to take the position, joining Representative Mark Meadows and Nick Ayers, the top aide to Vice President Mike Pence, in turning down one of the most sought-after jobs in the government.

“I have told the president that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment,” Christie said in a statement. “As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”

Christie, who campaigned for Trump in the 2016 presidential vote after bowing out of the primaries, spent an hour discussing the job with the president at the White House, sources familiar with the chief-of-staff-selection process told US media.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, had also signaled a lack of interest in taking the job, arguing that he could serve the president best in his current capacity, unnamed sources told the Associated Press.

Trump’s struggle to find a chief of staff among his closest allies comes at a time when he is battling Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into his alleged “collusion” with Russia.

The president also stands accused of conspiring to break campaign finance laws to pay his mistresses.

This means Mulvaney, a steady hand in the Trump White House, will be taking on the job amid a lot of political, legal and policy problems.

This will be Mulvaney’s third job in the administration. Besides being the head of the Office of Management, the new White House chief of staff had been simultaneously running the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The move is among the most high-profile in the shake-up of Trump's team after Republican losses in November's midterm elections.

Trump also dismissed Jeff Sessions as attorney general via Twitter the day after the midterms elections.

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