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Trump Taps Mick Mulvaney as Acting Chief of Staff

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney at a press briefing in January 2018. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President Trump on Friday picked White House budget director Mick Mulvaney to serve as acting White House chief of staff starting next year until a permanent replacement for John Kelly is named.

“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,” the president wrote Friday evening on Twitter.

“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!” he added.

Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman from South Carolina, will take over from four-star general Kelly, who served in the Trump administration as Homeland Security Secretary before accepting Trump’s offer to run the White House staff in July of last year.

Kelly was widely seen as a stabilizing force in a chaotic and leaky White House when he took over from former Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.

While still running the Office of Management and Budget, Mulvaney also served as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the past year until this week.

Earlier Friday, famously unpopular former New Jersey governor Chris Christie declined Trump’s offer to be chief of staff. The president met with Christie on Thursday and Mulvaney on Friday.

“It’s an honor to have the president consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief of staff,” Christie said in a statement. “However, I’ve told the president that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”

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