Trump Picks Budget Director Mulvaney to Be Next Chief of Staff

December 14, 2018 Updated: December 14, 2018

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump announced on Dec. 14, that budget director Mick Mulvaney will be his next chief of staff.

Trump tweeted that Mulvaney “will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction.”

“Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,” Trump posted. “I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!”

Mulvaney, who will be Trump’s third chief of staff, will now take on his third job in the administration; he is the head of the Office of Management and had simultaneously led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The appointment of the affable, fast-talking South Carolinian came just hours after another candidate for the post, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, took himself out of contention for the job. Christie cited family reasons in a statement saying that he was asking Trump to remove him from consideration.

Trump said Thursday that he was weighing five possibilities. Among the others he considered: his 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Trump announced last week that Kelly, who served in the post for more than a year, would soon be departing.

The president’s first choice was Nick Ayers, the vice president’s chief of staff, who bowed out after being unable to come to an agreement on how long he would serve in the post.

By Jonathan Lemire, Catherine Lucey and Jill Colvin