In a deep dive by Politico into how acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is attempting to rein Donald Trump in, administration insiders all but rolled their eyes at the idea that the president — who is most notable for his impulsive Twitter outbursts — can be brought to heel.
According to the report, Mulvaney hopes to shape the White House’s messaging by making the communications shop “‘more proactive, less reactive.”
Speaking with Politico, Mulvaney explained, “We’ll spend a little more time being proactive, and a little less time being reactive . . . We want to talk about the economy. We want to talk about healthcare. We want to talk about trade, so if we can try to drive the narrative a little bit more, we think that would be a valuable improvement.”
However, White House insiders confide that every Trump chief of staff has had big plans — only to see them get tossed out the window.
“Easier said than done, say several former administration officials. Mulvaney’s two predecessors also talked about improving those teams, according to four current and former administration officials,” with one official admitting, “Whatever Trump tweets out that morning will be the headline, regardless of what the communications plan is. A lot of people take their frustrations out on the communications team, but Trump will always be the communications director.”
Another agreed, explaining that Trump may make a decision and agree to a policy change — which is promptly announced to the press – only to change his mind days later.
“That’s the reality of serving a media-obsessed president who cares little about the details or the organizational chart of his press and communications teams,” Politico reports
“If you get ahead of the president and answer a question, and then two weeks later, he does something different, you look stupid,” revealed a different Trump White House official. “Until the message comes from the president, it doesn’t count.”
The report goes on to note that White House messaging is unlikely to return via daily press conferences from Trump spokesperson Sarah Sanders, who was recently damaged by her admission that she has lied to the press — with Mulvaney taking a jab at the press.
“I would throw it back to the press. Look, are you really making the argument that you don’t have access to information? Goodness gracious, the president is available to the press himself almost every single day,” Mulvaney explained. “You’re getting it straight from the president of the United States in a way that I’m pretty sure is unparalleled.”
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