President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is “in no hurry” to name official replacements for several Cabinet-level positions in his administration.
“Well, I’m in no hurry. I have acting (administration officials). And my actings are doing really great,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing to a White House staff retreat at Camp David.
The President said that both acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s second-in-command at the department, and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are “doing great.”
Currently, there is also an acting secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan, the former deputy to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who resigned last month over differences with Trump’s foreign policy views. In addition, there is an acting administrator of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, and an acting US ambassador to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen. Matthew Whitaker is serving as the acting attorney general, although former Attorney General William Barr has been nominated to be the the departments’ permanent head once again.
Trump added that having “acting” officials gives him “more flexibility.”
The President also praised his Cabinet, saying that he has “a great, great Cabinet. If you look at my Cabinet, we have a fantastic Cabinet. Really great.”
Earlier Sunday, Mulvaney told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a taped interview that aired on “State of the Union” that working in the White House is “probably the best job that many folks … are ever going to have.”
“Working in the White House is a tremendous privilege and a tremendous opportunity, and if you do it properly, I think it can be a lot of fun,” Mulvaney added.
CORRECTION: This story was updated to correctly identify the acting US ambassador to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen.