In March, CBS News hired former President Donald Trump’s White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as a paid contributor. Since then, Mulvaney has appeared on the network numerous times to trumpet right-wing talking points and defend his past as a Trump bootlicker.
According to CBS News Co-President Neeraj Khemlani, Mulvaney’s hiring was the result of the need to obtain “access to both sides of the aisle” due to fears that Republicans will gain political control after the 2022 midterms. Unfortunately for CBS News, the performative “access” granted to the channel via Mulvaney is nothing more than thinly veiled Trumpism.
Mulvaney has used his appearances on CBS’ platforms to scold the January 6 House select committee investigating the riot at the Capitol and to defend his past as a Trump sycophant who was routinely on the “undemocratically wrong side” of history.
Mulvaney’s spin on CBS News
In an interview with CBS' Catherine Herridge, formerly of Fox News, Mulvaney railed against the January 6 committee, suggesting that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), both of whom refused to certify the 2020 election, should have been placed on the committee. Biggs also reportedly sought a pardon from Trump for his participation in trying to overturn the election results.
Mulvaney also scolded Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for her work on the committee, saying, “Whenever Liz talks, I don't believe it. I refuse to believe her interpretation of the facts.” The anchor interviewing Mulvaney is current Fox News employee
When asked how Trump could tamp down violent threats against elected officials and the FBI after the agency searched his Mar-a-Lago home for missing classified documents, Mulvaney immediately pivoted to talking about “left-wing extremists.” Only after Mulvaney was pushed by the CBS anchors did he agree that Trump should “encourage people to calm down.”
During an appearance on June 29, Mulvaney refused to say whether he would vote for Trump again if he is the Republican presidential nominee in 2024.
Mulvaney’s unwillingness to answer the question came one day after he described former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony in front of the January 6 committee as “explosive stuff.” Hutchinson outlined Trump’s knowledge that January 6 could be a violent day and his temper tantrum directed toward Secret Service officials who refused to bring him to the Capitol riot.
During his debut appearance as a paid contributor on the network, Mulvaney was welcomed by anchor Anne-Marie Green with a smile. “So happy to have you here,” Green said.
Mulvaney was invited on-air to critique President Joe Biden’s proposal to levy a new tax on billionaires as part of his 2023 budget. Green failed to mention that Mulvaney is a multimillionaire who is an advocate for “MAGAnomics.”
Mulvaney defends his past as a Trump bootlicker
On CBS Radio's The Takeout podcast with Chief Washington Correspondent Major Garrett, Mulvaney defended an attack on the media that he made at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, saying the media was focusing on its “hoax of the day” rather than on covering the administration's efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic.
Garrett asked if he regretted his comments, and Mulvaney said he did not, alleging that he was “trying to get folks to actually talk more about COVID and we couldn't get the media to do it because impeachment was going on.” He added that the media focused on the pandemic after the impeachment proceedings had ended, when they saw “it as the next way to get the president.”
In the same interview, Mulvaney defended more of his actions while working under Trump. In 2019, Mulvaney acknowledged that the Trump administration was withholding partial military aid to Ukraine in a quid pro quo to leverage a political probe into Biden’s son Hunter and baseless claims that foreign countries interfered in the 2016 presidential election to boost Democrats. Mulvaney told reporters to “get over it,” saying that “there’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.” (Mulvaney later tried to walk his comments back.)
Reflecting on his actions, Mulvaney said, “I absolutely completely defend what we did with Ukrainian aid.”
Recently, Mulvaney has taken to Twitter to share his opinions on the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. In his tweets, Mulvaney has downplayed the severity of taking classified government material from the White House while continuing to defend the former president.