President Trump insisted Friday that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is staying in his post, amid reports questioning how safe his job is. Mulvaney is accompanying the president on a day trip to North Carolina.
"That was a false report," the president said on the South Lawn Friday, weighing in on the reports of Mulvaney's impending exit. He told reporters that he has a "great relationship" with both Mulvaney and Representative Mark Meadows,and Trump ally who isn't running for reelection and whose name has been floated as a possible Mulvaney successor.
He was less than reassuring about the job security of Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council official who testified about the president in the House impeachment probe. Asked if Vindman would be leaving, the president responded, "Well, I'm not happy with him."
"They'll make a decision," Mr. Trump said of Vindman, without saying who "they" are.
Indeed, a few hours later, Vindman was, according to a statement from his lawyer. He is expected to return to the Department of the Army for another assignment.
The president also commented on the Iowa caucuses debacle — which suffered lengthy delays in reporting results and some lingering questions about discrepancies in the data. Mr. Trump said he heard the votes were "fried," and couldn't be tabulated. The results released by the Iowa Democratic Party showed Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders at the top of the field so far. The president said it's "sad" what's happened to former Vice President Joe Biden, who appears to be in fourth place in Iowa, behind Senator Elizabeth Warren.
"They have no idea who won," Mr. Trump said
Asked if he sees Buttigieg as a threat, the president said he views everyone as a threat.
"Everybody's a threat. I view everybody as a threat. ... You never know," he said.