Aides to President Donald Trump have urged him not to take the "drastic step" of firing Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney amid the impeachment investigation, according to news reports Wednesday.
"I don't think you'll see him going anywhere until after December," a Trump adviser told The Washington Post. "But the president was very unhappy with that press conference.
"That was a very bad day for the president."
Trump has been threatening to fire Mulvaney for months — particularly after an Oct. 17 news conference in which he said that nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine was withheld unless the government investigated former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and issues related to the 2016 election.
Mulvaney, 52, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget, later accused the news media of misconstruing his comments.
"That's not what I said," he told Fox News in an Oct. 20 interview. "That's what people said that I said.
"But I never said there was a quid pro quo, because there isn't," Mulvaney said.
His comments during the presser "stunned White House aides," the Post said in its Wednesday report, which was based on "three people familiar with the discussions" on Mulvaney's status.
Firing Mulvaney now "could be perilous" for Trump, according to the advisers, because he was key to the decision to freeze the Ukrainian aid — and because his dismissal would create a disruption due to his being in a senior administration position, the Post reports.
"Trump is back asking everyone what they think about Mulvaney," one senior U.S. official told the newspaper. "He clearly is upset with him.
"He's being advised that the last thing he needs is another major personnel move," the official said.
White House officials declined to comment, according to the report.
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