Mick Mulvaney to be acting White House chief of staff

By Kathryn Watson

updated / CBS News

The White House chief of staff sweepstakes is over — and Mick Mulvaney is the winner, President Trump announced on Twitter Friday. Mulvaney is currently the director of the Office of Management and Budget and was also recently the acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He will replace outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly.

I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018

….I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 14, 2018

Mulvaney called the selection a "tremendous honor."

"This is a tremendous honor. I look forward to working with the President and the entire team. It's going to be a great 2019!" Mulvaney tweeted.

Only hours earlier, the president had a list of five candidates, according to Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.

It's unclear how long Mulvaney will remain in that role, or if it will become permanent. When Mr. Trump announced Kelly's impending departure, he said he might select someone on an interim basis.

A senior administration official told reporters at the White House Friday there is "no time limit" on Mulvaney's tenure.

"There's no time limit. He's the acting chief of staff, which means he's the chief of staff. He got picked because the president liked him they get along," the official said.
The official cited Mulvaney's experience as a "former member of Congress."
"He knows Congress. He knows Capitol Hill," the official said of Mulvaney, adding that he is "fiscally responsible."

The career of 51-year-old Mick Mulvaney has risen quickly. Only two years ago, he was a South Carolina congressman, known for his fiscal prudence. He will now be responsible for guiding the president through the budget process and attempting to bring down the national debt.

— This is a developing story and will be updated

First published on December 14, 2018

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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