WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump on Friday pushed out Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff, and replaced him with Representative Mark Meadows, a stalwart conservative ally, shaking up his team in the middle of one of the biggest crises of his presidency.
Mr. Trump announced the change on Twitter after arriving in Florida for a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate, choosing to make one of the most significant switches he can make in his White House on a Friday night when most of the country had tuned out news for the weekend. As a consolation prize, the president named Mr. Mulvaney special envoy for Northern Ireland.
Mr. Trump’s decision to push out Mr. Mulvaney came as the president confronted a coronavirus outbreak that has unsettled much of the country, threatened the economy and posed a new challenge to his re-election campaign. But the decision was seen as a long-delayed move cleaning up in the aftermath of the Senate impeachment trial as he shuffles his inner circle for the eight-month sprint to Election Day.
Mr. Trump called Mr. Meadows on Thursday to offer him the job, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Mr. Mulvaney, who took an annual trip to Nevada this week, learned of the decision on Friday, another person familiar with the events said. Mr. Mulvaney did not travel with the president to Florida; instead, he sent his top deputy, Emma Doyle.
The replacement was widely seen in the West Wing as a chance for Mr. Trump to reinvigorate his staff, over which Mr. Mulvaney was seen as losing control. In Mr. Meadows, the president will have an ally who he has treated as a confidant and a bellwether of congressional conservatives for much of his term.
Mr. Meadows takes over as Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director, returns on Monday in a new role working for Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Michael D. Shear from Washington.