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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

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.