A Civil War Just Erupted At One Of Obama’s Flagship Agencies After Trump Power Grab

Under the Trump presidency, chaos reigns. Our ignorant president has stuffed the federal government with incompetent stooges from the top down, so instead of a well-oiled machine, we’ve been saddled with a clanking, inefficient leadership apparatus lacking in both direction and cohesion.

In this atmosphere, even the most seemingly innocuous and presumably mundane event can quickly spiral into an all-out absurdist comedy. That was the case this morning when two different people started the work day by claiming to be the sole Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Trump has appointed Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as his pick for Director of the CFPB but Deputy Director of the CFPB Leandra English claims that she is the real acting director. On Friday, the former Director Richard Cordray stepped down and said English, his chief of staff, would be assuming the position of Acting Director.

The White House released an official statement on Friday to push back against English’s claim and to designate Mulvaney as the Acting Director.

Mulvaney showed up to work today with Dunkin Donuts, presumably in an effort to woo over agency employees in his bid to accumulate support and allies within the 1,600 person bureau. 

Mulvaney’s Director of Communications John Czwartacki sent out a tweet that can only be seen as an insecure attempt to shore up the perception that Mulvaney is, in fact, the new Acting Director.

He sent out another tweet shortly after, once again making overt reference to Mulvaney as Acting Director. The insistent tone of the tweets seems to betray a feeling that Mulvaney and his team are desperate to be taken seriously. They appear to be publicly overcompensating for the fact that they’re still on shaky ground at the CFPB.

Czwartacki also strangely tweeted out an image of the donuts Mulvaney brought to work, perhaps in an effort to make the little offering seem like an outsized success at the agency.

For her part, Leandra English isn’t backing down from her claim to power. The Hill reports that English sent out an email to the employees of the bureau, in which she referred to herself as the Acting Director. On Sunday, she also sued Trump and Mulvaney in federal court, pointing out that the Dodd-Frank Act which established the CFPB clearly states she is next in the line of succession at the agency.

The CFPB was created under President Obama with the intention of protecting American consumers from the predatory practices of big businesses and financial institutions. Presumably, English is worried that Mulvaney, an important cog in the regressive Trump administration, will betray the very people the agency is intended to protect. Trump and his cronies have demonstrated again and again that they only care about serving the 1%.

In response to English’s agency-wide message this morning, Mulvaney blasted out an email directing all agency employees to ignore English’s email and direct any further communications from her to the bureau’s legal team. Politico obtained Mulvaney’s email:

Politico also obtained a memo penned by Mary McLeod, the CFPB’s Chief Counsel in which she backed Mulvaney’s claim to the Acting Director position.

In the latest development in the widening feud, Zoe Tillman of BuzzFeed News reported that a DC federal judge has officially scheduled a hearing later today to figure out who is actually the new Acting Director of the CFPB.

This level of disarray and confusion could only happen under an administration as incompetent and poorly staffed as Trump’s. More as this story unfolds.

Add your name to millions demanding Congress take action on the President’s crimes. IMPEACH TRUMP & PENCE!

Robert Haffey

Rob Haffey is a graduate of Drexel University and the winner of the ScreenCraft Fellowship.

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