Talk centers on Mulvaney as chief of staff if John Kelly leaves

Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s chief budget officer, is in the spotlight this week as staffers consider what might happen if White House chief of staff John Kelly leaves in the wake of the Rob Porter scandal.

Conversations have been going on all week long among White House staffers as to what a “post-Kelly world looks like,” a source familiar with these discussions said. And “the conversation keeps coming back to Mulvaney.”

Trump also has been quizzing those around him about their opinion of Mulvaney in recent weeks, aides and associates tell CNN.

This source noted that these conversations were “hot” earlier this week at the height of the Porter fiasco, but that they seem to have cooled down — at least for the moment. One reason why Mulvaney talk is on the rise, this source said, is he “doesn’t have any enemies” inside the West Wing.

Mulvaney, a fiscal conservative, has led the Trump’s Office of Management and Budget and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A source close to Mulvaney confirms that discussions are “ongoing” and that the OMB director is aware that the President would like him to potentially be chief of staff.

“Mick is intrigued enough that he’s calling around asking people if he should do it,” one source says who has known Mulvaney for years.

Longtime friends and advisers have told him that it’s a good opportunity, but if he takes the chief of staff gig, “he’s going to need some help.”

Mulvaney, this source said, wants to do whatever he can to help the President, but he loves the two jobs that he has right now — running OMB and CFPB.