Seeking to explain why several top White House officials have criticized President Trump after leaving the administration during an interview on Friday, former acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in turn criticized Trump’s lack of experience and poor hiring skills when he entered office, as allies of the president look to fend off a wave of attacks from top generals and damaging information in John Bolton’s new book.
“[Trump] didn’t hire very well,” Mulvaney said when pressed by CNN’s Jim Scuitto as to why many former White House officials have called Trump unfit, adding, “He did not have experience at running government, and didn’t know how to put together a team that could work well with him.”
Several ex-Trump officials and top generals have denounced Trump in recent weeks as the president faces criticism over his response to the George Floyd protests and the coronavirus outbreak.
Former Trump Defense Secretary James Mattis slammed the president’s photo-op in front of St. John’s church and alleged he “tries to divide us” in a scathing statement in The Atlantic earlier this month.
Mulvaney also addressed the allegation levied by Bolton in his new book, The Room Where It Happened, that the president pleaded with Chinese President Xi to help “ensure” he’d win reelection during a meeting last year by suggesting increased agricultural purchases by Beijing from American farmers would help aid his reelection chances.
The former chief of staff said Trump attempted to purchase agricultural products “probably every time” he spoke with Xi, but added the allegation the president asked the China president for help in the 2020 election is “bizarre.”
Mulvaney also addressed other damaging allegations in the book, saying that the excerpts he’s seen “have been factually false.”
The Department of Justice is suing to stop publication of Bolton’s book, scheduled to be released June 23 and topping Amazon’s bestseller list, alleging it contains classified information. Bolton and his lawyer have denied the charge and have asked a court to dismiss the suit.
As the Trump administration seeks to block Bolton’s book, Trump and allies are also claiming the damaging allegations inside Bolton’s book are false. When asked by Jim Scuitto how Trump can raise two contradictory statements, Mulvaney said Bolton’s book “can easily be both.” “You can have some things in there that are false…and it’s very possible that the stuff we’ve not seen is classified.”