Administration

Trump: ‘No hurry’ to name permanent replacements for acting Cabinet members

President Trump said Sunday he’s in “no hurry” to name permanent choices for a handful of Cabinet positions being filled in an acting capacity.

“I sort of like acting. It gives me more flexibility. Do you understand that?” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for Camp David. “I like acting. We have a few that are acting but we have a great, great, Cabinet.”

Trump praised acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for their work.

{mosads}Trump’s Cabinet has undergone a series of changes in recent weeks. In addition to Bernhardt and Mulvaney, Matthew Whitaker is serving as the acting attorney general; Andrew Wheeler is serving as acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Patrick Shanahan is serving as acting Defense secretary; and Jonathan Cohen is serving as acting ambassador to the United Nations.

Except for chief of staff, each of those positions requires Senate confirmation.

Trump has tapped Wheeler as his choice for the permanent EPA administrator, picked former Attorney General William Barr to fill that position once again, and nominated Heather Nauert for ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump said upon announcing ex-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s departure on Dec. 15 that he would announce a replacement the following week, but has not done so.

The president has also yet to name a permanent replacement for former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who left his post on Jan. 1. Mattis had resigned effective at the end of February, but Trump forced his Defense chief out early after Mattis’s resignation letter implicitly criticized the president.

Mulvaney is serving as acting chief of staff, replacing John Kelly in the role. Mulvaney is remaining on as head of the Office of Management and Budget, but Deputy Director Russ Vought is handling the agency’s day-to-day operations while Mulvaney works as Trump’s top aide. 

Tags Donald Trump James Mattis John Kelly Mick Mulvaney Patrick Shanahan Ryan Zinke
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