Former President Trump’s White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney believesand other top Trump officials who have testified against former President Trump before the House select committee investigating the .
“She’s a lifelong Republican,” Mulvaney said of Hutchinson on “The Takeout.” “She worked for Ted Cruz. She worked for Steve Scalise. She was in the White House for four years. There’s no reason for her to lie.”
Mulvaney, now a CBS News contributor, said Hutchinson’s testimony “a game changer” and said the nation should take seriously the damning testimony from her and other Trump officials about the gravity of the Capitol riot and the falsity of Trump’s stolen election claims.
“Whenputs his hand on the Bible and says, we looked at all the allegations about the 2020 election and we didn’t find anything of merit, I believe that,” Mulvaney told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett.
Mulvaney says this also applies to former Trump White House counsel Pat Cippollone, with whom he clashed while he was chief of staff.
“Pat and I don’t get along,” Mulvaney said. “We haven’t gotten along for a long time. But Pat is a thoroughly honest and credible man. He would never lie under oath. Ever.”
Mulvaney, a former congressman from South Carolina, said he finds the committee’s process unsettling but effective.
“I don’t like the fact that you cannot get the full transcripts of the full videos,” Mulvaney said. “I don’t like the fact that the witnesses can’t make their own recordings of their testimony. There’s so much about the structure of this that is wrong, that it sort of violates my sense of propriety, which is why I haven’t made up my mind yet about what I think about Jan. 6. But I’m absolutely intrigued by what Republicans will say under oath, what they saw and heard that day.”
Mulvaney said it was “stunning” that Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani played such a prominent a role post-election in advising Trump on options to challenge or overturn the election. He was similarly offended by the influence of trade adviser Peter Navarro and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell.
“When you are getting your constitutional law, election law advice from your trade negotiator who’s not a lawyer and the guy who sells you pillows, you are listening to the wrong people. And those are the folks who are advising the president at the end,” he said.
Mulvaney, once a loyalist to the former president, doesn’t believe a third run for the presidency would be good for the Republican party.
“I don’t want him to run. I don’t. Because we don’t need him anymore,” Mulvaney said.
After leaving his West Wing post, Mulvaney wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, boldly headlined, “If He Loses, Trump Will Concede Gracefully.” The piece ran shortly after Election Day 2020, as votes were still being tallied.
“That was part prediction and part advice,” Mulvaney said. “If you want to cement your legacy as a great president, you have to go out gracefully. Obviously, he didn’t listen to that advice, but there was that was absolutely [for] an audience of one. I will take the criticism publicly for making a bad prediction.”
He now says the Jan. 6 riot “probably is” an indelible stain on the former president’s legacy.
If Trump can beat Biden in a 2024 face-off: “That glass of water as a Republican could beat Biden in 2024. I’m not sure Trump could. You know, you get against Gavin Newsom, it gets a little bit more, you know, challenging. I think it would be a tighter race. Certainly, Biden is the weakest Democrat candidate they could offer at this point, but Trump might be the only Republican who can lose. And that’s not something I’m interested in. I don’t like losing.
Why Europe should do more for Ukraine: “This does not affect American interests as dramatically as it affects European interests. And I’m not sure why we should be more engaged and more committed to Ukraine than their immediate neighbors. The Poles get it. The Lithuanians get it. They do. I’m not sure the French and the Germans and the Spanish get it. Or if they do, they’re not hinting that they do. I think the British actually get it more than anybody else. So, I just wish Europe would do more.
The Biden administration’s handling of Russia’s war in Ukraine: “I actually think that the Biden administration has been walking a fine line but doing it relatively well. If I were in the White House right now advising the President of the United States, there’s not a lot of good options. I mean, doing nothing is obviously not an option. Putting American troops on the ground in Ukraine is not an option. So, walking this fine line of providing significant military aid and economic sanctions is probably the best course of action. So, I will defend the Biden administration on that. I also think it sends a powerful message to China that if they ended up getting a little aggressive with Taiwan, that they know what’s coming, which would be economic sanctions that could be crippling to their economy as well.”
Executive producer: Arden Farhi
Producers: Jamie Benson, Jacob Rosen, Sara Cook and Eleanor Watson
CBSN Production: Eric Soussanin
Show email: TakeoutPodcast@cbsnews.com