WASHINGTON — A group of conservative activists voiced their support for Mick Mulvaney, the embattled acting White House chief of staff, telling President Trump in a letter that the “D.C. swamp is attacking him” and urging the president to permanently appoint him to the job.
The letter was signed by dozens of conservatives, including Ginni Thomas, who is married to the Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and David McIntosh, the president of the anti-tax Club for Growth.
“Conservatives are proud to support the role Mick Mulvaney continues to play in the Trump administration,” they said in the letter, which was initiated by the Conservative Action Project.
The letter continued, “Recent news reports demonstrate that the D.C. swamp is attacking him — and we believe it is because he has been the most successful chief of staff in this administration to advance the Trump pro-America agenda.”
The letter was sent at a moment of peril for Mr. Mulvaney. Last week, he announced Mr. Trump’s selection of his own club, the Doral in Miami, as the site of the Group of 7 economic conference in 2020 — and ended up acknowledging that the president had pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to agree to investigate his political enemies in return for military assistance.
Three days later, Mr. Mulvaney described Mr. Trump as still seeing himself as being “in the hospitality business,” a comment that gave ammunition to critics who say the president remains focused on his business interests over the presidency.
As a result, Mr. Mulvaney’s job security has been in doubt because of Mr. Trump’s growing frustration with his aide’s public remarks. So Mr. Mulvaney’s allies decided to make a show of support.
Citing Mr. Mulvaney’s past experience, including as a Republican congressman from South Carolina and a leader of the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement, the letter described him as “an outspoken advocate of conservative principles and policies.”
“He worked to craft the president’s budgets which called for cutting more wasteful spending than any president in history,” the letter said.
It also touched on his job overseeing the Office of Management and Budget, or “the office most responsible for implementing the Trump agenda throughout government.”
“His attention, vision, and commitment to the president’s policies has been evident from the beginning of the administration to today,” the letter said. “We believe the president should make him permanent” in his role as chief of staff.
It is not clear the president has seen the letter. A spokesman for Mr. Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Trump’s feelings about Mr. Mulvaney have changed by the day, according to White House aides and other advisers to the president. But his job is seen as safe as long as the impeachment inquiry is taking place.
In addition to his own missteps, Mr. Mulvaney has been locked for months in a battle with the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone. Mr. Cipollone is seen as a possible successor for Mr. Mulvaney and people close to Mr. Mulvaney have complained that Mr. Cipollone has restricted the flow of information about the Ukraine matter, making it harder for people to do their jobs.
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