Report: GOP senator once called Mulvaney 'the most dangerous man' in Washington

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants GOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Schumer warns Mulvaney against drawing hard lines on budget deal MORE (R-Ala.) once called acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump telling aides to look at potential spending cuts if he wins reelection: report Budget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Trump says Democrats shouldn't use debt ceiling as leverage MORE "the most dangerous man" in Washington because of his influence over President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE

The New York Times, citing three people familiar with the exchange, reported on Tuesday that Shelby made the remark while speaking with Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyPoll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Democrats grill USDA official on relocation plans that gut research staff Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens MORE (D-Vt.) during the government shutdown. 


Shelby had reportedly grown frustrated with Mulvaney's ability to undo weeks of bipartisan negotiations by making a brief comment to Trump. Shelby has not repeated the statement about Mulvaney in public. 

But the Times noted that when a reporter asked Shelby about Mulvaney on Capitol Hill, the senator interrupted to say, “You mean the acting chief of staff?”

Shelby's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The details about Shelby's comment comes as part of an expansive report on how the dynamic in the White House appears to have changed since Mulvaney became acting chief of staff.

Mulvaney assumed the position earlier this year after former White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE departed. 

The Times notes that Mulvaney has gained a number of supporters and critics in his first months in the position, with some viewing him as a figure who has mitigated rivalries within the White House. 

Others believe the former GOP congressman has influenced the president in negative ways. 

“I hope that the president or some of the people around him will realize that his administration is far from a fine-tuned machine,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem senator describes 'overcrowded quarters,' 'harsh odor' at border facilities Top Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens MORE (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor, according to The Times. “It’s a slow-motion disaster machine that the American people see in action every day.”