Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE has reportedly been threatening to fire acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Bolton lawyer slams 'corrupted' White House review process after book leak Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell 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 BidenTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE, a chief political rival of Trump’s. He later backtracked, clarifying that there was “absolutely no quid pro quo.”

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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 BoltonTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir 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.