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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

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.