The President announced on Friday, March 6, that his new chief of staff is Rep. Mark Meadows. This also marks the departure of the man who had held that role (in an “Acting” capacity) since January 2019: Mark Mulvaney. Mulvaney was heavily involved in the long controversy over the Trump administration’s relationship with Ukraine and his departure is part of a broader post-impeachment-trial housecleaning.
The job of White House Chief of Staff includes “gatekeeping.” Partly for that very reason, President Trump has always had a contentious relationship with his Chiefs of Staff. The first, Reince Priebus, held the post as a concession to the Republican establishment. Once Trump decided he didn’t need old-line GOP friends, Priebus was out the door, replaced by General John Kelly. Kelly wasn’t really allowed to be a gatekeeper. During his tenure, the President regularly worked around him. Kelly became dissatisfied with this arrangement, leaving at the end of 2018.
The Thing to Know:
Each of Trump’s chief of staffs has come into conflict with Trump family members, especially his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who have access to the paterfamilias regardless of what any would-be gatekeeper wants. Mulvaney did not cope with this well. How Meadows does with it is a question worth watching.