Mulvaney says he's joked with Trump about calling president a 'terrible human being'

“I am supporting Donald Trump, I’m doing as enthusiastically as I can [even though] I think he’s a terrible human being," Mulvaney said in 2016.
Image: Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 18, 2018.Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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By Allan Smith

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, recently named acting chief of staff by President Donald Trump, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that he and the president have "joked" about the now-viral footage of him from 2016 in which he called Trump a "terrible human being."

Acknowledging that the video has "made the rounds," Mulvaney said he and Trump "joked about it last night."

"Look, I think what's wrong with Washington, D.C. — people spend a lot more time looking at what people say instead of what they do," Mulvaney said, adding that Trump "knows that I have been fighting with him to fight for ordinary Americans for the last two years."

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"He likes having me around and I like working for him," Mulvaney continued.

During his 2016 re-election campaign, the then-South Carolina congressman called Trump a "terrible human being" who made "disgusting and indefensible" comments about women in audio inadvertently captured by "Access Hollywood." In that 2005 tape, which was released one month prior to the 2016 election, Trump made a series of lewd comments about women. Most infamously, he boasted of grabbing them by the genitals.

At the time, Republicans across the country denounced the remarks, with some withdrawing their support for his campaign.

"Yes, I am supporting Donald Trump, I’m doing as enthusiastically as I can [even though] I think he’s a terrible human being," Mulvaney said in a debate against his Democratic rival. "But the choice on the other side is just as bad."

In a since-deleted Facebook post from that time, Mulvaney excoriated Trump for his decade-old comments about women.

"What he said in the audiotape is disgusting and indefensible," he wrote. "My guess is that he has probably said even worse."

Mulvaney has served as Trump's budget chief since the onset of his administration. The fiscal hawk was later named as acting chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau late last year. Last week, Trump named him as acting chief of staff.

"This is old news," OMB spokesperson Meghan Burris said last week in response to Mulvaney's 2016 remarks. "These comments were made in 2016, when he was a congressman and had yet to meet the President. Congressman Mulvaney continued to support then-candidate Trump throughout the election, and his support for President Trump has never wavered while serving within the administration. He both likes and respects the president, and he likes working for him."