Mick Mulvaney to replace John Kelly as Trump’s acting White House chief of staff: 5 things to know


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Former Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney was just selected by President Trump to replace General John Kelly as acting White House chief of staff.

“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,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 14, noting Kelly would be staying until the end of the year.

Mulvaney assumed the Office of Management and Budget in February 2017, overseeing regulatory policy and budget development. Trump also tasked Mulvaney, 51, with temporarily leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A hardline conservative not known for a penchant for compromise, Mulvaney has long railed against government spending and promised to crack down on it. But he’s recently come under fire for giving large pay raises to two of his aides. Mulvaney is not earning a salary for his position at the CFPB.

From his time as a congressman to owning a Mexican food restaurant, here’s a look at five things to know about Mulvaney.

Mulvaney got his start in South Carolina politics

Before heading the OMB, Mick Mulvaney represented South Carolina in Congress. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was also formerly South Carolina's governor.

Before heading the OMB, Mick Mulvaney represented South Carolina in Congress. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley was also formerly South Carolina’s governor.
(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Mulvaney was a practicing lawyer who eventually ran his family’s real estate business, according to his OMB biography. But he got his start in politics by holding elected office as a state representative and state senator.

When he was elected to the U.S. House in 2010, he became the first Republican to represent South Carolina’s 5th district since 1883.

In Congress, Mulvaney served on the Budget, Joint Economic, Small Business, Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform committees.

He once owned a Mexican restaurant

While a state lawmaker, Mulvaney was an owner and operator of a couple of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina restaurants.

Salsaritas is a Mexican food chain that began in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Madeleine Albright was his teacher

Mulvaney grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and attended Georgetown University, where he graduated with honors and received a degree in international economics, commerce and finance.

While at Georgetown, Mulvaney took a class led by Madeleine Albright, who would eventually serve as the first female secretary of state under former President Bill Clinton.

According to The Hill, Mulvaney says Albright’s politics didn’t influence him.

He later attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He helped start the Freedom Caucus

Mulvaney was one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group conservative lawmakers formed in 2015.

“We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans,” the group’s mission statement read when it formed.

The Freedom Caucus was criticized by Trump in March 2017 after it helped derail the president’s plan to replace ObamaCare.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team [and] fast,” Trump said in a tweet. “We must fight them, [and] Dems, in 2018!”

Mulvaney was already part of Trump’s Cabinet by then.

Mulvaney and his wife have triplets

Mick Mulvaney and his wife, Pamela, are the parents to triplets.

Mick Mulvaney and his wife, Pamela, are the parents to triplets.
(Reuters//Carlos Barria)

Along with his wife, Pamela, Mulvaney has triplets: James, Caroline and Finnegan, according to his OMB biography.

While they have two Great Danes now, Mulvaney at one time also raised chickens, the Charlotte Observer reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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