Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is now claiming that a border wall with Mexico would be effective, a reversal of his stance a mere three years ago, when he criticized Trump’s wall idea as “childish.”
CNN’s KFile unearthed audio of the 2015 interview with a local South Carolina radio station in which Mulvaney calls Trump’s approach to immigration “simplistic” and the idea to build the wall “absurd and almost childish.” He also said that a wall would not effectively prevent undocumented immigrants from crossing the border.
“The fence doesn’t solve the problem. Is it necessary to have one, sure? Would it help? Sure. But to just say build the darn fence and have that be the end of an immigration discussion is absurd and almost childish for someone running for president to take that simplistic of [a] view,” Mulvaney told Patti Mercer of WRHI radio in South Carolina.
He added: “And by the way, the bottom line is the fence doesn’t stop anybody who really wants to get across. You go under, you go around, you go through it. And that’s what the ranchers tell us, is that they don’t need a fence. What they need is more manpower, and more technology, and more willingness to enforce the law as it exists today. There are parts of our border that are secure and parts of our border that are not. A lot of that comes down to whether or not we are just willing to enforce the law as it exists. So it’s easy to tell people what they want to hear, ‘build the darn fence, vote for me.'”
Chris Wallace pointed out Mulvaney’s hypocrisy on Fox News Sunday this weekend. “If building a wall is ‘childish’ and ‘simplistic’ as a solution for the immigration problem, why is it worth shutting down the government?” Wallace asked.
“It has to be part of a comprehensive…” Mulvaney began, but Wallace quickly interrupted, “But it isn’t… You’re not saying it’s part of a comprehensive immigration plan.”
“A border wall is necessary,” Mulvaney countered. “We’ve known this since Reagan.”
Mulvaney’s remarks about the border wall are not his only prior criticisms of Trump. In video obtained by The Daily Beast, Mulvaney called Trump “a terrible human being” less than a week before the 2016 election.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) December 15, 2018
“Yes, I am supporting Donald Trump, but I’m doing so despite the fact that I think he’s a terrible human being,” Mulvaney said. He echoed those comments in a Facebook post that same year, the New York Times reported. The post was deleted, however, right before he was announced as director of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget at the beginning of his presidency.
And in October 2016, he said that in “an ordinary universe,” Trump would be disqualified from running for president but admitted he was voting for him over candidate Hillary Clinton.
But it’s probably not too surprising that Trump is appointing people who have criticized him in the past. When churning through cabinet members and staff at what seems like a record pace, it seems the only people left who haven’t openly criticized Trump in the past are members of his own family.