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Mick Mulvaney to undo John Kelly’s work as White House chief of staff



Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has reportedly been undoing some of the constraints that his predecessor, John Kelly, had placed on people’s access to President Donald Trump.

Mulvaney, who took the reins after Kelly was fired in mid-December, has taken a new leadership approach with White House staffers, according to a New York Times report published Wednesday.

Mulvaney reportedly told the staffers he did not intend to mimic Kelly’s leadership style. The four-star general had attempted to curb the freewheeling access people had to Trump when he served in the role.

“You’re all adults,” Mulvaney said to White House staffers, one official who was present at a meeting told The Times. “You all have relationships with him.”

President Donald Trump looks towards Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, left, after signing an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, March 13, 2017.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

With Mulvaney at the helm, staff members were welcomed to meetings in the Oval Office, and received lectures on different management approaches from previous presidential administrations, The Times reported. Mulvaney reportedly told his staff that he should not be required to constantly be in the same room as Trump, and that he did not need to approve of every issue that came across his desk.

Mulvaney’s approach to the job contrasts to that of Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, who sought to filter the people and information in Trump’s orbit. Numerous clashes with members of Trump’s own family — including First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner — were believed to have caused a rift in Kelly’s relationship with the Trumps and helped hasten his departure.

Mulvaney was also establishing warmer ties with Kushner and Ivanka, whose rising influence in the White House reportedly led some Trump aides to believe his chief of staff title was just a formality.

Over a year after replacing former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, Kelly and his efforts to bring order to the West Wing appear to be in vain. Trump’s opinion of Kelly reportedly soured during his tenure, particularly as Kelly tried to temper Trump’s impulses and allegedly called him an “idiot.”

Kelly denied he had described the president in a disparaging way, and called the allegations “total BS.”

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