Mulvaney named acting White House chief of staff; has said he’s not interested in job

Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman who now serves as White House budget director, will serve as President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff until the president finds a permanent replacement for the position.

“I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,” Trump said in a tweet.

It’s a turn of events for Mulvaney who told friends earlier this week that he was “not interested in chief of staff.”

“He has been saying for almost two months that he would be more interested in something like Commerce or Treasury if that’s where the president needed him,” a person close to Mulvaney said.

A senior administration official told reporters at the White House on Friday that “there’s no time limit” for Mulvaney’s time as acting chief of staff. “He got picked because the president liked him, they get along,” the official said, citing his time in Congress. “He knows Congress, he knows Capitol Hill.”

But Mulvaney has been called on by Trump before. He was largely seen as a favorite to take the job earlier this year and is considerd as one of the White House’s best people to carry Trump’s message to the public.

A fiscal conservative who was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, he joined Trump’s Cabinet and promptly began to pitch his former colleagues on spending bills he never would have supported as a congressman, enduring ribbing for his sudden ideological fluidity.

Mulvaney grew up in Charlotte and graduated from Charlotte Catholic High School. He graduated from law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1992 and owned a real estate business in Charlotte.

Emma Dumain and Brian Murphy contributed to this report.

Franco Ordoñez is a White House correspondent for the McClatchy Washington Bureau with a focus on immigration and foreign affairs. He previously covered Latin American affairs for the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. He moved to Washington in 2011 after six years at the Charlotte Observer covering immigration and working on investigative projects for The Charlotte Observer.