Political News

Mulvaney says being chief of staff is 'actually a lot of fun'

Posted January 6, 2019 10:46 a.m. EST

— Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says his new position is "actually a lot of fun" and has been "great" so far.

"People keep asking me, people bump me in the hallway, and they say, 'I don't know to congratulate you or to console you,'" Mulvaney told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on "State of the Union." "It's actually a lot of fun."

"This is probably the best job that many of the folks in the White House are ever going to have," he added. "Working in the White House is a tremendous privilege and a tremendous opportunity, and if you do it properly I think it can be a lot of fun."

Mulvaney, who was appointed by President Donald Trump following former chief of staff John Kelly's resignation in December, said he spoke about the position with James Baker, who served as chief of staff under former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

"...I called him right after the President made the announcement," Mulvaney said. "I said, 'Secretary Baker, you have any advice?' And he said, 'Yeah, just remember you're the chief of the staff, not the chief of the President. You are not going to change the President of the United States. None of us ever were able to do that, nor do we want to do that. The question is, how do you make the staff make the President successful?'"

"That's a challenge but it's one of those fun challenges that you look forward to in your career," Mulvaney said. "It's been a great couple weeks on the job, and I'm looking forward to it."

Mulvaney, who has served as Trump's budget director, officially started in the acting chief of staff position last week, but he had been transitioning into it during the last few days of Kelly's tenure.