Conservatives send message to Trump: Don't dump Mulvaney

Conservatives send message to Trump: Don't dump Mulvaney
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A group of conservative leaders are telegraphing their support for President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE’s acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNew witness claims firsthand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Trump files to dismiss lawsuit from Bolton aide on impeachment testimony OMB official to testify in impeachment probe if subpoenaed after others refused MORE, who has been under fire from some of the president’s allies after public missteps. 

“Conservatives are proud to support the role Mick Mulvaney continues to play in the Trump Administration,” states a draft of a memo obtained by The Hill that will be sent to the White House and Capitol Hill. 

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“Recent news reports demonstrate that that the D.C. Swamp is attacking him — and we believe it is because he has been the most successful Chief of Staff in this administration to advance the Trump pro-America agenda,” the memo states. 

The memo, organized by the Conservative Action Project, will be signed by a number of prominent conservatives, including Club for Growth President David McIntosh, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Heritage Action Executive Director Tim Chapman and Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, according to a conservative source involved in the effort. 

The memo currently has more than four dozen signatories, and there is a deadline later Thursday for signatures, according to the source.

The memo describes Mulvaney, who represented South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District, as a “trusted ally of the conservative movement” as well as a “proven leader, and an outspoken advocate of conservative principles and policies.” It urges Trump to make Mulvaney his permanent chief of staff. 

The memo also cheers Mulvaney for his work on key Trump administration initiatives, including crafting budget proposals that cut government spending as head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), rebuilding the U.S. military and cutting taxes and regulations. 

“His attention, vision, and commitment to the president’s policies has been evident from the beginning of the administration to today,” the memo states. 

Mulvaney, who has served as acting chief of staff since last December without Trump granting him the permanent title, is on shaky ground after a pair of public appearances that led to negative headlines for the White House. 

Those familiar with his standing in the White House have suggested his ouster is not imminent, but noted that some in the administration were unhappy with his recent comments. Mulvaney has also feuded in recent weeks with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, a central figure in the administration’s impeachment defense.

Trump has largely avoided answering questions about Mulvaney’s status within the administration. A White House spokesman said this week that the president still has confidence in his acting chief of staff.

Mulvaney said at a press briefing last week that security aid to Ukraine was dependent partly on the country investigating a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.

Democrats seized on the comments, which undercut President Trump’s insistence that there was no quid pro quo involved in withholding Ukrainian military assistance.

Mulvaney attempted to do damage control with an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” but struggled to clean up his remarks without causing new headaches. 

The chief of staff said Trump “still considers himself to be in the hospitality business,” a comment that raised eyebrows considering the widespread skepticism about the president’s connections to his business empire.

Mulvaney described two conditions for holding up aid after he had listed three during the press briefing. Anchor Chris Wallace played video clips that contradicted Mulvaney’s defenses of his Ukraine remarks, undermining his attempted defenses at times. 

Asked if he had offered to resign over last week’s briefing, Mulvaney said he had not.

“Absolutely, positively not,” Mulvaney said. “I’m very happy working there.”