President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Giuliani pens op-ed slamming ‘unprecedented’ impeachment inquiry Giuliani associate Lev Parnas discussed Ukraine with Trump at private dinner: report MORE has reportedly been threatening to fire acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyMulvaney to file separate suit to fight impeachment subpoena Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition White House struggles to get in sync on impeachment MORE for weeks over recent missteps amid the House’s impeachment investigation.
Three people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post that the president has griped about Mulvaney’s appearance at an Oct. 17 press conference in which he admitted military aid to Ukraine was withheld to pressure Kyiv to launch investigations into 2016 election meddling and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Giuliani pens op-ed slamming ‘unprecedented’ impeachment inquiry Giuliani associate Lev Parnas discussed Ukraine with Trump at private dinner: report MORE, a chief political rival of Trump’s. He later backtracked, clarifying that there was “absolutely no quid pro quo.”
Senior aides have reportedly advised that firing Mulvaney at such a pivotal moment during the House’s impeachment inquiry could be risky, particularly given Mulvaney’s role in the decision to temporarily freeze the aid and the chaos that would ensue in trying to find a replacement for him.
“I don’t think you’ll see him going anywhere until after December,” one Trump adviser told The Post. “But the president was very unhappy with that press conference. That was a very bad day for the president.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding The Post’s report.
Mulvaney was in direct communication with Trump about the president’s desire to hold $400 million in military aid to Ukraine as the White House was pressuring Kyiv to launch investigations that would be politically beneficial to the president.
Advisers have cited the dismissal of former National Security Adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report Overnight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA’s Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings Bolton suggests Trump’s Turkey policy motivated by personal, financial interest: NBC MORE, who was dismissed in September and is now a top target for Democrats for testimony.
“Trump is back asking everyone what they think about Mulvaney,” said one senior U.S. official. “He clearly is upset with him. He’s being advised that the last thing he needs is another major personnel move.”
Mulvaney’s standing in the White House has been under renewed scrutiny when he reversed plans to file a lawsuit asking a federal court to rule on if he should comply with a House subpoena for his testimony, saying instead he would follow the White House’s order to not cooperate with the impeachment probe.