Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE has reportedly been threatening to fire acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyFox's Napolitano says obstruction 'easiest' impeachment offense for Democrats The key impeachment hearings are before an appeals court, not the House Judiciary panel Schiff says investigators seeking to identify who Giuliani spoke to on unlisted '-1' number MORE for weeks over recent missteps amid the House’s impeachment investigation. 

Three people familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post that the president has griped about Mulvaney’s appearance at an Oct. 17 press conference in which he admitted military aid to Ukraine was withheld to pressure Kyiv to launch investigations into 2016 election interference and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE, a chief political rival of Trump’s. He later backtracked, clarifying that there was “absolutely no quid pro quo.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Senior aides have reportedly advised that firing Mulvaney at such a pivotal moment during the House’s impeachment inquiry could be risky, particularly given Mulvaney’s role in the decision to temporarily freeze the aid and the chaos that would ensue in trying to find a replacement for him. 

“I don’t think you’ll see him going anywhere until after December,” one Trump adviser told the Post. “But the president was very unhappy with that press conference. That was a very bad day for the president.”

Mulvaney was in direct communication with Trump about the president’s desire to hold $400 million in military aid to Ukraine as the White House was pressuring Kyiv to launch investigations that would be politically beneficial to the president. 

Advisers have cited the dismissal of former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonThe key impeachment hearings are before an appeals court, not the House Judiciary panel Beyond the myth of Sunni-Shia wars in the Middle East The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment of Trump resumes MORE, who was dismissed in September and is now a top target for Democrats for testimony. 

“Trump is back asking everyone what they think about Mulvaney,” said one senior U.S. official. “He clearly is upset with him. He’s being advised that the last thing he needs is another major personnel move.” 

Mulvaney’s standing in the White House has been under renewed scrutiny since he reversed plans to file a lawsuit asking a federal court to rule on if he should comply with a House subpoena for his testimony, saying instead he would follow the White House’s order to not cooperate with the impeachment probe.