One Senate Republican noted that “acting” has remained next to Mulvaney’s name for nearly a year “and there’s a reason for that.”

“He’s always been on the edge,” this senator said. But now “he’s on thinner ice” than ever.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a close ally of the president who opposes Ozerden, said he was shocked when he heard Mulvaney say aid to Ukraine was frozen as Trump sought an investigation into Democrats, before spending the next 72 hours trying to walk it all back.

“I thought: Whoa. This is new,” said Hawley, adding that Mulvaney’s later explanations satisfied him.