Former acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Wednesday said President Trump’s dramatic trek to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday was a typical Trumpian move and said people still waiting for the president to change or moderate his behavior are likely kidding themselves.
“That’s a very Trump kind of move,” Mr. Mulvaney said on CNBC. “He wanted, I think, to send a message that if we wanted to take back the streets, if we wanted to end the riots … we have the ability to do that.”
“Do we have the will to do that is another question,” he said. “But I think that the message he was trying to convey there … allowing the president to be the president is one of the things that a chief of staff is charged with.”
“He’s in his mid-70s — he’s extraordinarily successful doing what he’s been doing. He’s not going to change,” Mr. Mulvaney said of the president.
Mr. Trump made the dramatic walk from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was vandalized during protests over the weekend, after law enforcement officials had cleared the nearby area just before the president delivered a Rose Garden speech on the unrest following last week’s killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The U.S Park Police issued a statement on Tuesday saying that officials used “smoke canisters and pepper balls,” not tear gas, to disperse “violent protesters” who had been throwing projectiles.
Citing two administration officials, The New York Times reported that current White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Mr. Mulvaney’s replacement, credited presidential daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump for the plan to have Mr. Trump walk to the church during a staff meeting on Tuesday.