Oct 24, 2019

Conservative leaders to send White House letter in support of Mulvaney

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of conservative leaders plan to send a letter to the White House and Capitol Hill on Thursday expressing support for acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who has come under fire in the wake of a chaotic press conference last week, according to a source who shared the draft letter with Axios.

Why it matters: Mulvaney’s friends and allies have recently grown worried about his job security. They’ve been hearing reports that he’s being cut out of some decisions and deprived of information by White House counsel Pat Cipollone. Mulvaney’s mishap of a press conference last week — in which he conceded, then retracted, that there was a politically motivated "quid pro quo" involved in Ukrainian aid — armed his internal critics with additional weapons.

Yes, but: You can’t replace something with nothing. And right now, a senior White House official said he has no reason to think Trump will fire Mulvaney, who is still well-liked by many in the building. When pressed, two sources close to Trump said they believe the most likely eventual alternative to Mulvaney is Cipollone.

What they're saying:

Mulvaney has been a trusted ally of the conservative movement since his days in the South Carolina state legislature, and in the U.S. Congress. He is a proven leader, and an outspoken advocate of conservative principles and policies. He worked to craft the president’s budgets which called for cutting more wasteful spending than any president in history. Mulvaney also worked alongside President Trump in the White House on efforts to rebuild the military, cut taxes for working families, cut regulatory red tape, and unleash American energy.
He has worked diligently on all of these issues on behalf of President Trump’s agenda, which has led to unprecedented job and economic growth, and he’s done so in the face of opposition from the liberal media, Democrats and even from within the administration. ... We believe the president should make him permanent in the Chief of Staff role.

At least 47 conservative leaders have signed the statement so far, including:

  • David McIntosh, president of Club for Growth
  • Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council
  • Lisa Nelson, CEO of American Legislative Exchange Counsel
  • Tim Chapman, executive director of Heritage Action
  • Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots
  • Tom McCluskey, vice president of government affairs of March for Life Action

Go deeper: Mulvaney attempts to clean up comments on Ukraine quid pro quo

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.