Posts tagged with "OMB Director Mick Mulvaney"

Easy come, easy go: Trump seeks new chief of staff

December 11, 2018

Nick Ayers, who currently serves as chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, has turned down the opportunity to do the same job for President Donald following John Kelley’s departs at the end of the year, Salon reported on December 10.

Had he accepted the position, Ayers would have been the third chief of staff to serve the POTUS in the Trump administration—following Reince Priebus (January 20, 2017-July 31, 2017) and John Kelly (July 31, 2017-present).

Ayers, who has worked for Pence since July 2017—and previously served as national chairman for the vice presidential campaign in 2016—is known as a savvy political strategist with many contacts on the Hill. Before his close association with the vice president, the 36-year-old power player—named in 2010 as one of TIME magazine’s most influential people in politics under the age of 40—was executive director of the Republican Governors Association from 2007 to 2010.

“Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @VP, and my great colleagues for the honor to serve our Nation at The White House. I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause. #Georgia,” Ayers tweeted late on December 9

According to the Salon report, Trump himself alluded to the possibility that Ayers might not accept the job later the same evening, tweeting that “I am in the process of interviewing some really great people for the position of White House Chief of Staff. Fake News has been saying with certainty it was Nick Ayers, a spectacular person who will always be with our #MAGA agenda. I will be making a decision soon!”

It is noteworthy, the news outlet said, that almost seven years ago, the president criticized President Barack Obama for running through three chiefs of staff in less than three years — Rahm Emanuel, Pete Rouse (who served as interim), Bill Daley and finally Jack Lew, who left at the end of Obama’s first term.

“3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @Barack Obama can’t manage to pass his agenda,” Trump tweeted at the time. Yet once Kelly departs and is replaced, Trump will have a similar record for his own chiefs of staff.

Nevertheless, Ayers seems to be leaving the White House on good terms, with Pence tweeting on Sunday that “@nick_ayers has done an outstanding job as my Chief of Staff and I will always be grateful for his friendship, dedication to the @VP team and his efforts to advance the @POTUS agenda. Thank you Nick! Karen and I wish you, Jamie and the kids every blessing in the years ahead.”

Now that the president has been left in the lurch, several new candidates reportedly are under discussion—including Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; Representative Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), the chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus; and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Research contact: @MatthewRozsa

Ten Trump administration officials are accused of violating Hatch Act

August 7, 2018

A Washington-based ethics group has filed complaints arguing that ten Trump administration officials violated the federal Hatch Act, The Hill reported on August 2.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a complaint by letter on July 16 to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC)—saying that Communications Director for the Office of the First Lady Stephanie Grisham “likely violated the Hatch Act when she used her official White House Twitter account (which cites her official position and affiliation with the White House) to tweet a message that included President Trump’s campaign slogan “#MAGA” (Make America Great Again) and a picture from a 2015 Trump campaign rally. Before serving in the First Lady’s office, Grisham worked on the Trump campaign.”

Under the Hatch Act, executive branch employees are prohibited from engaging in politics. Specifically, the act, “prohibits any executive branch employee from “us[ing] his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election. Activities covered by this prohibition include the official “[u]sing his or her official title while participating in political activity.”

On August 2, the group filed additional complaints against White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney; and Deputy Press Secretaries Raj Shah and Hogan Gidley; along with six others.

CREW’s complaint details how all ten Trump officials posted tweets that support President Trump as a candidate for the Republican Party in 2020—a direct violation of the Hatch Act, according to the watchdog’s Executive Director, Noah Bookbinder.

Those found to have violated the act can be fined as much as $1,000 and face disciplinary actions such as suspension or termination.

Six of the officials tweeted Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” or “MAGA” for short, CREW said in an August 2 statement. The OSC clarified this March that any reference to the slogan was a clear violation, the watchdog noted.

The complaint against Sanders is directed at a March 6 tweet from her official @PressSec Twitter account that includes part of the Trump slogan.

“We continue to see Trump Administration officials at all levels engaged in unprecedented partisan political activity using their official Twitter accounts in direct violation of the Hatch Act,” Bookbinder said in a statement.

“Despite multiple investigations and violations found, the Trump Administration clearly has no intention to stop the misuse of government offices and resources for political purposes,” Bookbinder continued. “We are now calling on the OSC to consider additional measures to prevent the rampant abuses coming from this administration.”

According to the findings of a CNN poll released on March 29 and covered by The Hill, a majority of Americans don’t expect Trump to win another term in the White House. The poll, conducted by SSRS, found that 54% of respondents believe that the president—despite his weekly rallies—will lose his campaign for reelection. Just 40% expect him to win.

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