It certainly comes as no shock that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is not too thrilled with the state of affairs at the White House. It also should come as no surprise that Jarvanka does not like Mulvaney. Jarvanka doesn’t like anybody with any power other than themselves. Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair:
Trump’s aides fear he has given himself no way out. “The president put himself in a box,” the former official in touch with the White House told me. “The problem is there’s no endgame. Right now the White House is at a seven on the panic scale. If this thing goes on past the State of the Union they’re going to be at an 11.” Another prominent Republican close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Trump’s handling of the shutdown as “total fucking chaos.”
Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, installed in the job just before Christmas, may already be looking at escape routes. Unlike his long-suffering predecessor, John Kelly, Mulvaney has indicated he’s prepared to walk away if things go south with the president. “Mick has both eyes open,” said a person who spoke with Mulvaney recently. “So far, Trump has been more DIY than ever before. It’s a continuation of where things left off with Kelly. Mulvaney is not going to stick around and get ground up.” Before Christmas, Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told people that Mulvaney wouldn’t last long, according to a person who spoke with Lewandowski. Last night, The New York Times reported Mulvaney is interested in becoming president of the University of South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been underwhelmed with Mulvaney’s political skills, two people familiar with their thinking said. The sources said Jared and Ivanka have discussed recruiting Blackstone executive Wayne Berman to serve as White House strategist, but so far Berman hasn’t been interested a source familiar with his thinking said. Blackstone declined to comment.
Speaking of Jarvanka, RNC spokeswoman and former CNN talking head Kayleigh McEnany announced recently that the man with the requisite negotiating skills to end the shutdown is none other than Jared Kushner. Apparently the term “negotiating skills” is defined in some Republican dictionary on the dark political arts as a cross between sorcery and mass hypnosis, because that’s what Kushner needs to invoke in order to put a lock down on this raging tire fire.
Jared is now haunting the halls of Capitol Hill looking for a Democrat to flip. Yes, you read that correctly. Kushner, according to CNN’s Manu Raju, has hatched a scheme to flip “at least one Democratic senator for one reason: To make the case that this is bipartisan support for what the president is calling for on the wall.” The smart money on the street is saying that the longer that the shutdown continues that Republicans are going to be fleeing the Trump ranks to save their own skins, but Kushner doesn’t see it that way. He believes he can start flipping Democrats like eggs and he also says that after Trump’s speech and his visit to the border, that “public support will grow toward the Republican side.”
Maybe Jared missed his calling as a writer of fantasy. On the other hand, maybe he’s consulting with Dick Cheney and whomever lives in the bowels of his 666 building. We should know soon enough.
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[cross-posted to PolitiZoom]
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