Trump appoints new White House chief of staff

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For the third time, the US president has replaced his chief of staff. Instead of Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s confidant Mark Meadows will take over the powerful White House post.

US President Donald Trump is known for his post-hunting. He has now changed the White House chief of staff for the third time. He appointed one of his most loyal supporters, Republican Congressman Mark Meadows from the state of North Carolina, to the influential post. The 61-year-old replaces acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump said on Twitter.

“I know Mark and have worked with him for a long time and our relationship is really good,” Trump said. Meadows had announced on his website in December that he would not run for the U.S. House of Representatives again. But his work with Trump is “just beginning.

Trump thanked Transitional Chief of Staff Mulvaney for “serving the government so well. Mulvaney will now become US special envoy to Northern Ireland.

During the impeachment proceedings against Trump over the Ukraine affair, Mulvaney had drawn criticism with statements at a press conference in October. He admitted that military aid to Ukraine had been frozen on the orders of the president and for domestic political reasons. “We do this all the time in foreign policy,” he said, demanding that we move on from the Ukraine affair to the agenda. A few hours later he distanced himself from his remarks.

The US Democrats had initiated the impeachment proceedings last year, particularly because of the Ukraine affair. In their view, Trump had abused his office by urging the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj in a telephone conversation to investigate corruption against the democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter and by using US military aid for Ukraine as a means of pressure. However, the US Senate, dominated by Trump’s Republicans, overturned a presidential ouster in early February, ending the historic process.

The Chief of Staff at the White House plays a decisive role. He serves as the president’s right hand and coordinates government policy. Mulvaney assumed the post in December 2018 after Trump dismissed his chief of staff, John Kelly. Trump’s first Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, left the White House after less than 200 days in office.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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