Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report

Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report
© Greg Nash

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Trump, Dems open drug price talks | FDA warns against infusing young people's blood | Facebook under scrutiny over health data | Harris says Medicare for all isn't socialism White House spokeswoman leaving to join PR firm Trump’s state of emergency declaration imperils defense budget MORE is telling allies he’d like to be Commerce Secretary should Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossTop Chinese official heading to Washington for trade talks The Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration White House confirms new trade talks with China MORE be swept up in a White House staff shakeup people familiar with the conversations told Politico.

While initially eyeing John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE’s job as chief of staff, Mulvaney reportedly pivoted to vying for Ross’s position but a Mulvaney ally told Politico he and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says ‘it’s possible’ Trump is a Russian asset McCabe: Trump ‘undermining the role of law enforcement’ MORE have not yet discussed the possibility.

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Mulvaney could be an appealing replacement for Ross as he’s already been confirmed to his role by the Senate and would likely face no major speedbumps as he transitions to a potential new job.

But Mulvaney is not the only contender, as Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahonLinda Marie McMahonTrump donates 0,000 from salary to alcoholism research White House announces reduced delegation to travel to Davos amid shutdown ‘We Can Do It!’: Women and bipartisanship MORE, Ray Washburne, a major Republican donor and the President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Karen Dunn Kelly, undersecretary for economic affairs at Commerce, have all been floated as possible Ross replacements. 

Ross’s successor would take the reins of Trump’s trade war with Canada, Mexico, Europe and China and would oversee the 2020 census, which would determine the redistribution of congressional seats. 

While there is constantly a simmering level of speculation that any staffer can be fired at any moment in the Trump White House, the days following last week’s midterm elections raised the stakes for a more widespread administration overhaul, especially after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump nominates Jeffrey Rosen to replace Rosenstein at DOJ McCabe says he was interviewed by Mueller CNN hires former DOJ spokesperson under Sessions as editor on 2020 campaign MORE the day after the polls closed.

Kelly, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump faces mounting challenges to emergency declaration 2,000 asylum seekers return home, decide to stay in Mexico: report Trump taps FEMA official to lead agency MORE and Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Zinke, Lewandowski join Trump veterans’ lobbying firm Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? MORE are just some of the high profile names who seem to be making their way to the chopping block. 

“Morale is a low point,” one former administration official told Politico. “There is all of this uncertainty about who will still be in the White House in a few months and anxiety about what anyone has to look forward to – just the Democratic Congress making everyone’s lives miserable.”