Former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted he would have thrown a fit had President Barack Obama made his re-election acceptance speech at the White House. But then he laughably asserted, “I would have shut up” upon learning it was legal “because every now and then you have to admit that you were wrong.”
NPR explains how Donald Trump thumbed his nose at ethics at the Republican National Convention:
As part of Tuesday night's prime-time convention programming, Trump granted a presidential pardon from the White House. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared from Jerusalem, where he was on official state business, to make a campaign speech with the Old City as backdrop. First lady Melania Trump delivered a speech from the White House Rose Garden. And acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf performed a naturalization ceremony on television as Trump looked on.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in most political activity inside federal buildings or while on duty. Though the president and vice president are exempt from the civil provisions of the Hatch Act, federal employees like Pompeo, Wolf and any executive branch employees who helped stage the events are not.
In an interview on Fox’s Your World yesterday, before Trump’s speech at the RNC last night, host Neil Cavuto approached the subject very delicately. “Democrats are still saying kind of tacky, kind of against the Hatch Act, you’re politicizing the White House, the People’s House.”
MULVANEY: That’s much ado about nothing. My guess is that this has been run through just about every single lawyer in the White House, probably lawyers over at the Department of Justice, the Office of Special Counsel. They wouldn’t be doing it, Neil, if it wasn’t 100% legal. I’ve been through this analysis before with the president. When we do campaign related things, there are certain places we can do them on the property.... It’s just a distraction trying to draw away from the substance of what you’re going to see tonight.
Cavuto asked a good question: “If Barack Obama had done this back when he was running for re-election in 2012 and you were a feisty, fiery congressman, what would you have done?”
“Sure, I guess my first reaction probably would have been oh, my goodness, that’s not right,” Mulvaney said. “And then if somebody had sat me down and said, 'but it’s legal,' I would have shut up because every now and then you have to admit that you were wrong. But yeah, we probably would’ve raised the issue, but if someone had sat down and said look this is the law, you move on to the next issue.”
“Your point is well made, it is politics,” Mulvaney added.
Of course, this is the same Mick Mulvaney who talked up Trump’s use of his private property for a G7 summit and admitted Trump had engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine, then lectured, “Get over it.”
Cavuto moved on to Pompeo speaking to the convention from Jerusalem. “He was the secretary of state, he was addressing a convention, and very much in a political role,” Cavuto said.
“I hate to be coming to the defense of the administration all the time,” Mulvaney claimed, "but I think they’re probably right. … I participated in political activities after hours. … I would go out at eight o’clock at night and give a speech at a political event.”
“There is a difference between a chief of staff and a secretary of state,” Cavuto shot back.
"I was the director of the Office of Management and Budget, which is a Senate-confirmed position in the cabinet. So, no, there's not that much difference between those two things," Mulvaney insisted.
You can watch it below, from the August 27, 2020 Your World.
Throughout history boot-lickers have licked the boot that kicks them. Their devotion borders on the sort of masochism of true zealots whose faith never wavers even as their “deity” piles on the trials. It is their fervent hope to be readmitted to the adored presence.