Trump’s Chief Of Staff Tries To Control His Tweets As W.H. Tensions Rise

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Donald Trump’s third White House Chief of Staff, albeit acting, Mick Mulvaney has been flying under the radar most of the time. Instead, he quietly dismantled President Barack Obama’s all-important Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and performed other dire deeds in his second job as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Now, he has decided to try something that will make POTUS very, very unhappy.

Mulvaney decided to beef up the White House “communications and press strategy.” Plus, he told The POLITICO magazine about how he wanted to improve Trump’s “communications and press shop:”

‘We’ll spend a little more time being proactive, and a little less time being reactive. We’ve got a great message to sell. We want to talk about the economy. We want to talk about healthcare. We want to talk about trade, so if we can try to drive the narrative a little bit more, we think that would be a valuable improvement.”

A former official said that POTUS “will always be the communications director:”

‘Whatever Trump tweets out that morning will be the headline, regardless of what the communications plan is. A lot of people take their frustrations out on the communications team, but Trump will always be the communications director.’

White House press secretary in the President George W. Bush administration Ari Fleischer said that the president’s tweets could conflict with on-the-record messages emanating from top White House officials’ messages:

‘Previously, you could have a powerful chief of staff on a Sunday show, or a top official like Colin Powell, or Donald Rumsfeld. That has less of an impact now because President Trump is such an alpha male. It reduces the impact of those other qualified and good communicators.’

A different White House official said:

‘If you get ahead of the president and answer a question, and then two weeks later, he does something different, you look stupid. Until the message comes from the president, it doesn’t count.’

One former White House official said:

‘The president gravitates towards – and loves it when – his Cabinet members are out there. What you have seen is that those Cabinet members who are reluctant or resistant to doing TV leave their posts, and they are replaced with people not afraid of the media.’

Even though Mulvaney has been directing Trump’s Cabinet members and other officials to be “the boss'” talking heads, many have declined. A top White House official said:

‘Having the White House message amplified is such a big part of what we do. I don’t know if it was a big enough exercise for other chiefs as it is for Mick.’

Mulvaney refers to Trump as “the boss.” The acting chief of staff said:

‘I would throw it back to the press. Look, are you really making the argument that you don’t have access to information? Goodness gracious, the president is available to the press himself almost every single day. You’re getting it straight from the president of the United States in a way that I’m pretty sure is unparalleled.’

Former Republican communicator Ron Bonjean said:

‘Trump is the ultimate surrogate, but it is always a good strategy to put other players on the field to support the president.’