More change is afoot in the White House.
President Trump announced Friday that retiring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) will replace acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in the role. Meadows is considered one of Trump's staunchest congressional allies.
Mulvaney, who filled the acting role in January 2019, is being appointed as the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland. He will also shed his title as the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, which he retained while serving as chief of staff. The acting director, Russ Vought, is expected to be nominated for the permanent position. Mulvaney's exit was anticipated as he fell out of Trump's favor a while ago, but advisers urged the president to keep him on until after his Senate impeachment trial in February, The New York Times reports.
It's no surprise to see Meadows step into the void — he and Trump reportedly often speak over the phone early in the morning and late at night, and the president considers the congressman a loyal voice in what he sees as an ever more untrustworthy Republican House, The Washington Post reports. But not everyone thinks that's the case — multiple current and former Trump aides told the Post they believe Meadows often tells the president one thing while relaying a completely different message to Capitol Hill.
Another longtime Trump adviser didn't have many reservations about Meadows' allegiance to the president, but the person is apparently worried Meadows doesn't have what it takes to keep the White House running smoothly as Trump begins to spend more time on the campaign trail this year.
The choice does have its supporters, though. One senior administration official called Meadows a "savvy strategist" who is always thinking of "angles and approaches that others won't." Read more at The Washington Post.