Tag Archives: Mick Mulvaney

Mulvaney calls it correctly

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump’s delusion continues even as he tees it up at his posh South Florida resort.

The ex-president told Fox News that the Jan. 6 insurrection from the riotous mob of terrorists posed “zero threat.”

That brought a sharp rebuke from one of Trump’s chief defenders/enablers, former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told CNN that Trump’s remarks are “manifestly false.”

“I was surprised to hear the president say that … Clearly, there were people who were behaving themselves and then there were people who absolutely were not,” Mulvaney told CNN.

Mulvaney calls Trump’s comments on Capitol riot ‘manifestly false’ | TheHill

No. They were not behaving themselves.

And yet Donald Trump continues to lie incessantly.

The riot’s aim was to stop Congress from doing its constitutional duty on Jan. 6, which was to certify the results of the presidential election. It was a violent attempted insurrection. It was an act of sedition. It was profoundly violent and dangerous!

I am no fan of Mick Mulvaney. However, I am glad to hear him speak the truth about the delusion that rumbles around in the head of his former boss.

GOP angry at OMB pick

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I feel the need to explain in some detail my concern about President-elect Biden’s decision to nominate Neera Tanden as the next director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Tanden’s selection has drawn fire from Republican U.S. senators. Why? Because she has said mean things about them on Twitter and other media outlets.

Their concern upsets my tummy. It’s not because Tanden shouldn’t have said those things about the Republican congressional caucus. I happen to agree with her. She runs a liberal think tank. Tanden is called upon often by media outlets to comment on this and/or that. She did so frequently during Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry.

What does trouble me is that President-elect Biden pledged an effort to unify the nation after four years of Trump and after a nasty and epithet- and threat-filled presidential campaign.

Neera Tanden is precisely the kind of nominee I would hope the president-elect would avoid. He didn’t do that. He has tapped a fierce partisan to take on what should be a job left to impartial, critical fiscal analysis.

To be clear, Donald Trump also selected a fierce partisan to run OMB when he selected former South Carolina U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who then became “acting” White House chief of staff for most of the second half of Trump’s term as president.

President-elect Biden, though, pledged a different tone were he elected to the office. I am afraid Neera Tanden doesn’t meet that standard.

Do I care that she has spoken critically of the GOP? Not in the least. I do care that Joe Biden’s effort to calm the rough seas might be placed in jeopardy.

Welcome to the worst job in D.C., Rep. Meadows

Here we go again, more drama in the West Wing of the White House.

Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president, has pushed Mick Mulvaney out the door and brought in his fourth White House chief of staff in less than a single term as president.

The new guy is Mark Meadows, the soon-to-retire congressman from North Carolina.

I guess he surrenders his House seat now that he becomes part of the executive branch of government. No overlap allowed, under the U.S. Constitution. Right? Well, Trump likely doesn’t know that, given his demonstrated ignorance about the nation’s governing document.

It’s interesting — at least it is to me — that Meadows doesn’t have the “acting” tag attached to his new title. Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman, gave up his Office of Management and Budget job to take on the worst job in Washington, D.C. Oh yeah, he still had the title as OMB director, but he couldn’t do both jobs, as the chief of staff job was so demanding of his time and energy.

Meadows now joins a list of former WH chiefs: Reince Priebus, John Kelly and now Mulvaney. Trump has pushed all of ’em out of the White House.

Will this guy bring any sense of order, discipline and smooth management to the White House? Hah! Good luck with that.

He still works at the “pleasure of the president.” If we’ve learned anything about No. 45, it is that he doesn’t allow the chief of staff to do the job he is supposed to do.

The clown show goes on.

What in the world is POTUS hiding?

I remain a baffled American taxpayer.

Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States, keeps insisting he did nothing wrong when he made that “perfect phone call” to the president of Ukraine.

There are eyewitnesses to that telephonic “perfection,” or so the president says. They need to testify before the U.S. Senate, which has commenced its impeachment trial to determine whether Trump keeps his job as president.

The House of Representatives has impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The abuse charge stems from that phone call, the one in which Trump asked the Ukraine government for a favor. He wanted Ukraine to launch an investigation into Joe Biden, a potential foe of Trump. He asked Ukraine to, that’s right, interfere in our 2020 election. 

Except that Trump keeps saying the call was “perfect.” Well, perfection might lie in the eye of the beholder. White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was there. So was national security adviser John Bolton. These men need to tell us what they know, what they heard, what they told the president at the time.

If there is nothing to hide, then — if logic holds up — there wouldn’t be a reason on God’s treasured Earth for them to resist testifying before the U.S. Senate.

Am I right? I believe I am.

Why do they deny hearing what the witnesses have said?

The much-anticipated public hearing on the impeachment inquiry being conducted by the House Intelligence Committee produced a serious exercise in frustration and futility.

At least for me it did.

The Intel Committee took into the public domain what it had heard in private about whether Donald Trump sought a “favor” from Ukrainian government officials who could dig up some dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The term of art has become “quid pro quo,” the Latin phrase that translates to “something for something,” or “this for that.”

It is the basis for the pending impeachment of the president of the United States.

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged in the press briefing room that there was a quid pro quo, and then he told us to “get over it.”

Then came the testimony before the House panel from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who said that “yes,” the president sought a quid pro quo. He heard him seek it in real time and told the committee what he heard from the president. He said everyone was “in the loop” regarding the quid pro quo.

The memo of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president even mentions the “favor, though.”

Why, then, do Republicans on the House committee and others on Capitol Hill keep saying there was “no quid pro quo”? What are they not hearing? Did they cover their ears when Sondland testified to that knowledge at the House hearings? Did they not hear Mick Mulvaney’s assertion of a favor and his scolding us to “Get over it”?

I know these are rhetorical questions. They won’t produce any answers. They simply serve to symbolize the futility and frustration that this impeachment inquiry has produced … so far.

Isn’t this ‘obstruction of justice’?

I must be missing something, or perhaps I am slow on the uptake.

The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to Capitol Hill to take his testimony behind closed doors; it’s part of the House impeachment inquiry into whether Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Mulvaney was a no-show. He defied a lawful subpoena from the legislative branch of government.

Now, where I come from, that would be considered an obstruction of justice. Congress is doing its legally sanctioned duty to ask an executive branch staffer for information into a legally constituted inquiry into whether the president of the United States should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Republicans involved in this inquiry are giving the White House a pass on stiffing Congress. That’s hardly what they said in 1998 when the House was conducting an inquiry into whether to impeach President Clinton. Two decades ago GOP House members and their Senate colleagues said that subpoenas issued by Congress had the force of law and that anyone who gets a summons must appear before Congress.

What’s changed? How is this different?

Oh, wait! I got it! The president is a Republican. Therefore, he isn’t held to the same standard of accountability as his Democratic predecessor.

The House impeached Clinton on charges that included an obstruction count. Has the White House chief of staff delivered another evidentiary dirt ball that will land on Donald Trump?

Go ahead, Mr. POTUS, run the White House all by yourself!

A reader of this blog has offered a fascinating response to a blog post I published that was critical of Donald Trump leaving acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney out of the loop regarding the planning for the raid that killed Islamic State founder Abu Makr al-Baghdadi.

He wrote: And yet the raid was an astounding success. Baghdadi was killed and none of the good guys were injured. So does he really?

Hey, he might have a point? I say “might” because we don’t know without seeing how the president would be able to manage the White House all by himself.

Mulvaney likely is on his final lap as the acting chief of staff. So here’s my thought: Mr. President, go ahead and leave the chief of staff job vacant after you give Mulvaney the boot. You ought to run the place all by yourself, just as you more or less said you might do when you accepted the Republican presidential nomination in the summer of 2016.

Trump declared that “I, alone” can solve the nation’s myriad problems. He has burned through three chiefs of staff in less than a single term as president. Reince Priebus couldn’t cut it; John Kelly tried to manage the place, but gave up; now it’s Mulvaney serving in this “acting” capacity.

Trump doesn’t entrust his chiefs of staff with any real authority. So, he ought to just take the reins himself. He alone should run the complex White House operation. He alone should make the key personnel decisions. He alone should be able to communicate with key legislative leaders in Congress.

The White House has an interminable number of moving parts. Trump has boasted of his remarkable business acumen. He runs this business empire but, of course, doesn’t acknowledge the multiple failures he has suffered over the span of many years.

Aww, but what the heck. That was then. The here and now puts the president in charge of the executive branch of the federal government.

Let’s see how he manages the White House and let’s see if he, alone, can stem the chaos that has overrun the place.

Who needs a chief of staff, right, Mr. President? Well, you do!

News that White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was kept out of the loop regarding the mission to kill Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi illustrates a fundamental failure of Donald Trump’s masquerading as president of the United States.

It shows how the absence of any public service or political knowledge in Trump’s pre-presidential background has disserved him and, worse, the nation.

Trump doesn’t seem to appreciate the value of a strong White House chief of staff. He calls the shots himself. He relies on no one to provide him with candid advice. He hires chiefs of staff and then ignores them, sends them to the back of the room, dismisses them with impunity.

That is the fate that has befallen Mulvaney, the “acting” chief of staff who didn’t know about the Army Delta Force raid on al-Baghdadi’s compound until after it already had commenced.

It looks for all the world as if Mulvaney will get the boot. It’ll likely be soon. He’ll go back home to South Carolina — where he was when he heard the news about the al-Baghdadi mission.

The question then becomes: Who in the world is willing to put up with the president’s ignorance about government and who is willing to dismissed, disrespected and disparaged the way Trump has done to Mick Mulvaney?

Let’s all keep our eyes peeled to Donald Trump’s Twitter account. An announcement is likely to be forthcoming.

Trump tramples over his own moment of triumph

If you want to witness an example of how badly Donald Trump’s administration allegedly “functions,” consider the way the president has mangled what should be a moment of supreme triumph for the commander in chief.

Trump authorized a daring raid that resulted in the death of Islamic State monster in chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Army Delta Force commandos carried out the mission with lethal precision. None of them was injured or worse.

The world is a better and safer place without al-Baghdadi slithering among our midst.

But what has happened?

Trump told us about how al-Baghdadi was crying, whimpering, sobbing and screaming when the soldiers were closing in. He went into extraordinary — and quite possibly fictitious — detail about the terrorist’s final moments on Earth.

Then we hear just today that White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, the guy who should have been there at the very beginning of the raid planning, didn’t know about it until the operation was running at full speed. How in the world does the chief of staff — albeit the “acting” chief — not know in real time about the planning for such a critical military operation?

I recall that vivid picture of Andrew Card, who was President Bush 43’s chief of staff, whispering into the president’s ear on 9/11 that “the nation is under attack.” Or President Obama’s chief of staff, William Daley, standing by while the national security team was watching in real time as SEALs killed Osama bin Laden.

Mick Mulvaney needed to be there. At the beginning. He needed to know the details from the inception of the daring mission. He learned about it when the rest of the world saw Trump’s Twitter message about “something really big” occurring.

The White House chief of staff by definition is the individual who is among those who “need to know” the details of everything that is going on in the White House.

Donald Trump has turned his moment of supreme triumph into yet another example of chaos and confusion.

Now it’s Mick Mulvaney who’s on the Trump Bubble

This is hardly a flash, but it looks for all the world as if “acting” White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is heading for the exit.

It turns out that Donald Trump chose to keep his chief of staff in the dark prior to the launching of the most important military mission of his presidency: the killing of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mulvaney reportedly as at home in South Carolina when Trump tweeted the message: “Something very big has just happened.” Mulvaney then was brought up to speed as the mission was commencing.

What is so odd and frightening about this revelation is that White House chiefs of staff normally are part of the national security team that meets to discuss such operations prior to their being launched. Not so with Mulvaney.

Andy Card, chief of staff for President Bush 43, said he is “baffled” by Mulvaney being left out of the planning of such an event.

Mulvaney’s “acting” status has been in place since he took the job after John Kelly departed at the start of this year. Then he held that disastrous White House press briefing a couple of weeks ago in which he admitted that Trump asked for a political favor from the head of a foreign government, telling the media and others to “get over it.” 

So, the guy who once ran the Office of Management Budget only to step into the snake pit known as the White House is likely on his way out. Just think that this is payback for the guy who famously said when he took the White House job that he intended merely to “let Trump be Trump.”

Chaos, anyone?