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Mick Mulvaney’s biting comments about Trump resurface after he’s named acting White House chief of staff
Former South Carolina congressman called Trump “a terrible human being” during 2016 debate
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
WASHINGTON (CFP) — Just hours after President Donald Trump took to Twitter to name Mick Mulvaney acting White House chief of staff, a national news outlet resurrected a video from a 2016 congressional debate in South Carolina in which Mulvaney calls Trump “a terrible human being.”
The Daily Beast posted a short clip from video taken during a debate in York shortly before the 2016 election.
“Yes, I am supporting Donald Trump. I’m doing so as enthusiastically as I can despite the fact that I think he’s a terrible human being. But the choice on the other side is just as bad,” Mulvaney said.
Mulvaney’s comments were reported at the time of the debate by The State newspaper in Columbia. In that story, Mulvaney also called Trump and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, “perhaps two of the most flawed human beings running for president in the history of the country.”
The Daily Beast did not say where it obtained the video clip, which did not contain the rest of the debate.
Mulvaney’s comments in 2016 stand in contrast to his December 14 tweet after Trump installed him as chief of staff, albeit in an acting capacity.
“This is a tremendous honor,” he said. “I look forward to working with the President and the entire team. It’s going to be a great 2019!”
Neither the White House nor Trump have responded to the video. But a spokeswoman for Mulvaney called it “old news” and noted that Mulvaney had not yet met the president when he made those remarks.
Mulvaney, 51, represented South Carolina’s 5th District from 2011 until he was named by Trump as director of the Office of Management and Budget in 2017. The White House has said he will not give up the OMB job while serving temporarily as chief of staff.
Neither Trump nor the White House indicated how long Mulvaney might serve in the interim role.
Mulvaney will replace John Kelly, who Trump announced would be leaving the White House by the end of the year.
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Report: Democrat Doug Jones outspending Republican Roy Moore 7-to-1 on TV
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
BIRMINGHAM (CFP) — Just two weeks before a special election to pick Alabama’s next U.S. Senator, Lee Busby, a retired Marine Corps colonel and one-time aide to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, has launched a last-minute write-in bid for the seat as an independent.
In another development in the race, Democrat Doug Jones’s campaign has outspent embattled Republican nominee Roy Moore by a whopping 7-to-1 margin on television ads in his quest to become the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Alabama in 25 years, according to a report in Politico.
Busby told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he got into the race because he was dissatisfied with choosing between Moore, who has been accused of sexually pursuing teenage girls, and Jones, a former federal prosecutor from Birmingham making his first bid for political office.
“I felt like there was a lot of people in Alabama who felt like me,” Busby told the network. “The more I talked to [people], the more sense I got that there was this huge swath in the middle that feels like they’re not represented.”
Since announcing his write-in candidacy on November 27, Busby said he has been the target of a deluge of criticism on social media from Moore supporters angered by his candidacy.
“I’m either a Democratic agent or a lackey of [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell,” he said.
Busby told MSNBC that he is a registered Republican but did not support Moore during the GOP primary, well before the sexual pursuit allegations surfaced.
“I don’t know Roy Moore. I’ve never met him. But there’s a sense of self-righteousness that comes out of that campaign that bothered me, and I don’t think it represents the majority of Alabama voters,” he said.
Busby, who lives in Tuscaloosa, served 31 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Reserve, reaching the rank of colonel. After leaving the military, he has focused on his work as a sculptor, creating memorial busts of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While in the military, Busby served as vice chief of staff to Kelly, the retired Marine general who is now Trump’s chief of staff.
Since allegations against Moore became public on November 9, Trump has refused to condemn him, instead offering pointed criticism of Jones on Twitter. However, the president has so far stopped short of traveling to Alabama to campaign with his party’s nominee.
By contrast, McConnell and most of the Republicans in the Senate have called on Moore to exit the race, even though the deadline had passed to remove his name from the ballot.
Five women have come forward to say that Moore, now 70, made advances toward them when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. One of the women, Leigh Corfman, said Moore initiated sexual contact with her back in 1979, when she was just 14.
Moore has denied the allegations and resisted pressure from Republicans to drop out of the race.
The most recent public polls, taken before Busby’s entry, have shown the race between Jones and Moore within the margin of error, which means that the polls can’t offer a conclusion as to which man is ahead. The competitiveness of the race is shocking sight in Alabama, where Republican Richard Shelby won by 28 points in 2016 and Democrats didn’t even run anybody against Republican Jeff Sessions in 2014.
Just as shocking is the disparity on the TV airwaves, with Jones airing more than 10,000 ads since the primary, compared to just 1,000 for Moore, according to figures compiled by Advertising Analytics and reported by Politico.
National Democrats had been wary of putting resources into the long-shot Alabama race, but money began pouring into Jones’s campaign after Moore won the GOP primary and the allegations against him surfaced.
The special election to fill the Senate seat is December 12.
The Alabama seat became vacant in February, when Sessions resigned to become U.S. attorney general. Republican Luther Strange was appointed to fill the seat but failed to hold it when Moore challenged him in the GOP primary to pick a nominee for a special election to elect a permanent replacement.
Moore was a controversial figure even before the allegations about his alleged sexual pursuit of teenage girls surfaced. He was twice elected as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and removed both times, first for defying a federal judge’s order to remove a 10 Commandments display at the state judicial building in Montgomery and then for encouraging local officials to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling mandating marriage equality.
In 2006 and 2010, he ran poorly in GOP primaries for governor. But in the special election, he was able to parlay unhappiness with the Republican establishment in Washington into a win over Strange, who was backed by Trump and McConnell.
Watch Busby’s full interview with MSNBC: