Mulvaney, a critic of Trump’s during the 2016 election, went on to serve in a series of roles for the Trump administration, including as director of the Office of Management and Budget, acting head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and, most notably, as acting White House chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020. A loyal, albeit candid, messenger for Trump during his tenure in the White House, Mulvaney has since been critical of his former boss.
Among the topics Mulvaney said the Jan. 6 committee raised with him was a text message he sent in the week after Election Day 2020 to Trump campaign officials and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, which read: “I’m getting the sinking feeling that everyone other than me thinks we lost this election. I’m out there telling everyone we haven’t. If people know something I do not, I would appreciate it if you would let me know.”
Mulvaney told CNN that he believed at that point the Trump campaign’s public position that the then-president had not been defeated but had begun to sense that some inside the campaign and the RNC knew the race was lost.
“I remember … I was sitting there doing television, on social media talking about how I thought we had a good chance in Arizona. The election had not been finalized or certified,” he said. “So yeah, I was a little surprised that I was sitting there defending the president … and the folks inside the campaign and inside the RNC had apparently decided there was no way we could win Arizona … That was one of the times I felt like I had been misled by the campaign and the Committee wanted to talk about that a good bit.”
The former White House chief of staff said the committee also asked him about specifics of how the Trump White House operated, which Mulvaney interpreted as an attempt to understand how outside advisers pushing the then-president to overturn the 2020 election results might have been able to get a West Wing meeting.
“They wanted to know the process, for example, on how visitors come to see the president or how would a chief of staff typically try to include or exclude people from meetings with the president. So clearly they’re trying to figure out more about how it is that perhaps Rudy Giuliani or Sidney Powell got access to the president of the United States that they did,” Mulvaney said. “How folks like Mike Lindell had access, the role of people like Peter Navarro — the inner circle of people that others describe as the crazies — how did they get the access they did when they did.”