How Mick Mulvaney became 'the most dangerous man' in DC
Donald Trump has been even Trumpier since the 2018 election, more erratic, more extreme, more out of control. That's in very large part because his new minder, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, is letting him run amok. At least that's what The New York Times speculates, and they make a good case.
Mulvaney was the only other person in the room when Kirstjen Nielsen was fired Sunday, the Times reports. He helped write her resignation letter. When Trump decided that Randolph D. Alles, the director of the Secret Service, had to go, Mulvaney was the one who carried the axe. Mulvaney was the one to tell Trump to ignore all the lawyers in his administration and go ahead and tell the courts to burn down the Affordable Care Act. As the Times puts it, "Trump has a chief of staff who has made it his job to encourage rather than restrain the president’s conservative instincts—to let Trump be Trump, in effect."
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, one of Mulvaney's Freedom Caucus friends from the House says "I don't think that [Mulvaney] sees the role of the chief of staff to alter the personality of the person he works for. […] They have a good relationship, but the president's the boss." And Mulvaney is a nihilist—he went to government to destroy it from within and who better to do that than a mentally unstable megalomaniac in the White House? Apparently this is fine with everyone in the White House because Mulvaney has "learned how to keep the Trump train running," said Scott Reed, the top political adviser to the United States Chamber of Commerce, told the Times. Apparently there's less infighting among staff with no one trying to keep Trump under control.
The flip side of that was described by Sen. Chuck Schumer, leading Democrat in the Senate, who called out the "chaos" in the administration, and the "whimsical, erratic" behavior of Trump. "I hope that the president or some of the people around him will realize that his administration is far from a fine-tuned machine," he said in a floor statement Tuesday. "It's a slow-motion disaster machine that the American people see in action every day." He's not alone in the assessment. Republican old-timer, Sen. Richard Shelby, Appropriations Committee chairman, has complained bitterly of Mulvaney, calling him "the most dangerous man" in D.C.
He's the perfect agent of destruction, using Trump for his own goal of burning the whole structure of government down. He golfs with Trump, flatters him and calls him "boss," and winds him up and watches him wreak havoc. And Trump doesn't even recognize that he's not the one calling the shots.