Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In a speech at the Oxford Union on Wednesday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged it's hypocritical of the Republican Party to criticize deficits under the Obama administration and ignore them under President Trump, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The deficit has ballooned under the Trump administration and is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2020, despite Trump's promise on the 2016 campaign trail to eliminate the national debt in eight years.

  • Mulvaney, who was known as a fiscal hawk in Congress and served as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget under Trump, called the growing deficit "extraordinarily disturbing."
  • Trump's 2021 budget proposes $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction, but it would take 15 years to balance.

Other highlights:

  • On climate change: Mulvaney acknowledged that climate change is occurring, but claimed there's a debate about its causes. “We take the position in my party that asking people to change their lifestyle dramatically, including by paying more taxes, is simply not something we are interested in doing."
  • On impeachment: Mulvaney claimed Trump froze military aid to Ukraine because the country had a corruption problem and because of lack of burden sharing with Europe — despite former national security John Bolton writing in his book that it was to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. He also joked about the infamous press conference in which he admitted a "quid pro quo" occurred, calling it a mistake.
  • On his acting status: "It’d be a $20,000 pay cut to take the job," Mulvaney said, brushing off concerns that he's never been appointed permanently. "A life expectancy of a chief of staff is roughly 18 months. Generally speaking, this job does not last that long. ... Who knows how much longer I’m going to last?”

Go deeper: Former chief of staff John Kelly unloads on Trump

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 11,495,412 — Total deaths: 535,185 — Total recoveries — 6,217,763Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 2,897,613 — Total deaths: 129,953 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. Public health: Case growth outpacing testing in hotspots — Medical community urges public to wear masks.
  4. States: Texas hospitals in danger of being overwhelmed amid surge.
  5. Politics: Meadows says Trump "is right" to claim 99% of coronavirus cases are "harmless."

Court orders temporary shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline in San Francisco in 2017. Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A federal judge ordered Monday the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline — a project at the heart of battles over oil-and-gas infrastructure — while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts a new environmental analysis.

Why it matters: The latest twist in the years-long fight over the pipeline is a defeat for the White House agenda of advancing fossil fuel projects and a win for Native Americans and environmentalists who oppose the project

2 hours ago - Technology

Tensions between tech industry and tech media boil over

The New York Times building. Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Tensions between tech and tech media hit a boiling point over the weekend, in the latest fraying of a once-cozy relationship.

The shortest version is that New York Times reporter Taylor Lorenz tweeted out some screenshots from the public Instagram of Away CEO Steph Korey, in which she criticized media coverage of her company.