“He is a smart guy, a very smart guy, but he’s only about 70 percent as smart as he thinks he is,” said Republican strategist Terry Sullivan, who has known Mulvaney since the acting chief of staff’s days in the South Carolina State Senate. “There’s only one person in that entire White House that has a bigger ego than he does, but it’s not by much.”…
As wild—damning, even—as the admissions may have seemed, Mulvaney actually had the intention of bringing the temperature down, with hopes of clearing the air after his name had cropped up in press reports implicating him in the Ukraine-related scandal. He wanted to “take allegations head-on, and show he wasn’t going into hiding,” one White House official said.
“Might as well own it,” the official added.
And own it he did—but only for part of the day.