White House infighting flares amid impeachment inquiry

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (L) and White House counsel Pat Cipollone (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mr Mulvaney’s office blames White House counsel Pat Cipollone for not doing more to stop other government officials from participating in the impeachment inquiry, as a number of State Department officials, diplomats, and an aide to vice president Mike Pence, have given sworn testimony to Congress.

Mr Cipollone, meanwhile, has fumed that Mr Mulvaney has only made matters worse with his 17 October news conference, when he publicly acknowledged a quid pro quo, essentially confirming Democrats’ accusations in front of television cameras and reporters.

Neither Mr Mulvaney nor Mr Cipollone has broad experience navigating a White House through such a tumultuous period.

At the same time, Mr Trump has been complaining about Mulvaney, blaming him for his political troubles, and has toyed with the idea of replacing him, two officials said.

“This impeachment trial is going to be here before the White House knows it and they’re not even remotely prepared for it,” said the Senate GOP aide.

“What they need desperately is leadership to get ready, but until Mulvaney and Cipollone put aside their petty squabbles and start working together all they’ll have is tweets.”

Their concerns were finally alleviated last week with news that Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida, and Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department spokesman, would join the administration to work on impeachment-related messaging and other issues.

“I think Pam Bondi will be very helpful,” said Lindsey Graham, adding that the Senate is unlikely to remove the president. “Things are better now, I think. Pam will do a good job. They still need to build their legal team out some.”

Article URL : https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-impeachment-latest-white-house-mulvaney-cipollone-republicans-trey-gowdy-a9199326.html

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