Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney laughed Sunday on Fox News at a video clip of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s insulting behavior at a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing. “Go ahead,” warned host Chris Wallace. “People will see you laughing.”
Wallace played the clip of Whitaker telling committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Friday that his time was up when Nadler questioned him about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Nadler was taken aback. Mulvaney, though, thought it was funny as he reviewed the scene.
When Wallace reminded him that people were watching, Mulvaney got serious. In response to a follow-up question from Wallace, Mulvaney said that Trump “absolutely” believes that Congress has a “right to do oversight” including in circumstances like the House hearing.
But what Trump is saying, Mulvaney said, “is, ‘Look, you have a choice: We can either work together on legislation or we can spend all of our time with you doing these investigations — but you can’t do both.’”
Wallace reminded him that many presidents — including Barack Obama, thanks to the Republican Congress that Mulvaney was part of — have done both. Mulvaney responded that it’s “not reasonable to expect the president to work with you on Monday on a big infrastructure bill and then on Tuesday have you punch him in the face over 15 different investigations.”
Wallace also asked Mulvaney of the “hypocrisy” of Trump’s New Jersey golf resort “hiring a stream” of undocumented immigrants while the president rails against “tolerance” for undocumented immigrants (see the video above at 4:40). Mulvaney said it has nothing to do with the Trump White House. “We have so much to do running the government, we don’t get into these other matters,” Mulvaney said.
Check out the rest of the interview in the video above. Mulvaney’s chuckles follow the Whitaker clip at 7:10.