The Slatest

New Chief of Staff Mulvaney Called Trump a “Terrible Human Being” Days Before Election

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, April 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, April 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mere hours after President Donald Trump named Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, acting chief of staff, video surfaced of him calling the now-commander in chief a “terrible human being.” He uttered the words less than a week before the 2016 presidential election, when the former Republican lawmaker participated in a debate alongside his Democratic opponent, Fran Person. As they each tried to make the case for their candidacy at the York Middle School in York, South Carolina, Mulvaney wasn’t shy about saying he wasn’t very fond of the Republican nominee. But when asked he said he would certainly support him.

“If I have any chance to accomplish what the majority of the Fifth District of South Carolina sent me to Washington to do, Donald Trump has to be president. Period. That’s it,” Mulvaney said. At one point he took the rhetorical route: “Do I like Donald Trump? No.” He went on to note that Trump was “absolutely not” a role model for his son.

The Republican took pains to emphasize that while he was no cheerleader for Trump, the alternative was far worse and Hillary Clinton was not a role model for his daughter either. “Yes, I’m supporting Donald Trump; I’m doing so as enthusiastically as I can do. In fact, I think he’s a terrible human being,” Mulvaney said. Referencing Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, Mulvaney added: “But the choice on the other side is just as bad.”

The choice for voters wasn’t easy, Mulvaney said, because “we have perhaps two of the most flawed human beings running for president in the history of the country.” But at the end of the day, in order to accomplish his priorities, Mulvaney said he felt he had “to support Donald Trump, and he has to win.”

Since he uttered those words, Mulvaney has become a very loyal Trump supporter and has held several roles in the White House over the past two years. After he became director of the Office of Management and Budget, he went on to become acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He is no longer at the CFPB but will retain his job at the Office of Management and Budget while he is acting chief of staff, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. The multiple roles he has held in the administration is likely what led Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan, to joke on Twitter that Mulvaney would become the new Interior secretary.

After he was named acting chief of staff, Mulvaney took to Twitter to say it was “a tremendous honor” and that he looked “forward to working with the President and the entire team.”