Why Trump chose Mulvaney as chief of staff — Demonstrated loyalty. Political savvy. Personal rapport. As a bonus, a decent golf game. President Donald Trump had long made clear the qualities he was looking for in his next chief of staff. When his first pick turned him down, sparking a frantic search, the president turned to the man he’d already tapped for two previous jobs in his administration: Mick Mulvaney, a blunt, fast-talking former South Carolina congressman turned budget chief who had told Trump months ago he wanted the job. It was an obvious choice to many outside the administration that reflects the challenges ahead: Trump will soon be fighting for re-election as he contends with a House controlled by Democrats eager to use their new subpoena power to investigate his administration and business dealings. The Russia investigation continues, with the drip-drip of new allegations mounting daily. For Trump, a notoriously mercurial president who has already cycled through two chiefs of staffs in as many years, the decision was as much about current appearances as future negotiations: Spurned by several front-runners and angry over the growing narrative that he couldn’t find someone to take the job, Trump made the offer Friday afternoon at a meeting that had originally been scheduled to discuss the ongoing budget showdown that threatens a holiday shutdown. Mulvaney accepted — and even kept his current position as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Family of migrant girl disputes story on her death — The family of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody is disputing an account from U.S. officials who said she had not been given food or water for days. In a statement released by lawyers, the parents of Jakelin Caal said the girl had been given food and water and appeared to be in good health as she traveled through Mexico with her father, 29-year-old Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz. The family added that Jakelin had not been traveling through the desert for days before she was taken into custody. Tekandi Paniagua, the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas, said he spoke with the Jakelin’s father. The consul said Nery Caal told him the group they were traveling with was dropped off in Mexico about a 90-minute walk from the border. Border Patrol officials did not immediately respond to the family’s comments. The family’s statement was released Saturday during a news conference in El Paso, Texas, at an immigrant shelter where Jakelin’s father is staying. Her family did not attend and has asked for privacy.
Arrest, security worries stymie Huawei’s reach — While a Huawei executive faces possible U.S. charges over trade with Iran, the Chinese tech giant’s ambition to be a leader in next-generation telecoms is colliding with security worries abroad. Australia and New Zealand have barred Huawei Technologies Ltd. as a supplier for fifth-generation networks. They joined the United States and Taiwan, which limit use of technology from the biggest global supplier of network switching gear. This week, Japan’s cybersecurity agency said Huawei and other vendors deemed risky will be off-limits for government purchases. None has released evidence of wrongdoing by Huawei, which denies it is a risk and has operated a laboratory with Britain’s government since 2010 to conduct security examinations of its products. The accusations, amid rising tension over Chinese technology ambitions and spying, threaten its ability to compete in a sensitive field as carriers prepare to invest billions of dollars. “This is something that’s definitely concerning Huawei at this stage, because there is a political angle to it and a business angle,” said Nikhil Bhatra, a senior researcher for IDC. Huawei is no ordinary electronics supplier. The company founded in 1987 by a former military engineer is China’s first global tech brand and a national champion at the head of an industry Beijing is promoting as part of efforts to transform this country into a technology creator. It has China’s biggest corporate research-and-development budget at 89.7 billion yuan ($13 billion) in 2017 — 10 percent more than Apple Inc.’s — and foreign customers can draw on a multibillion-dollar line of credit from the official China Development Bank.
Police visit ‘SNL’ star after Instagram post — New York City police were concerned about Pete Davidson after he wrote “I don’t want to be on this earth anymore” on Instagram. They visited the “Saturday Night Live” star to make sure he was OK. A police spokesman declined to say where officers met with Ariana Grande’s ex-fiance on Saturday. His Instagram posting was deleted and NBC did not cancel its live show. What alarmed Davidson’s fans and authorities was the tone of the entertainer’s post: “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don’t know how much longer I can last. All I’ve ever tried to do was help people. Just remember I told you so.” He added a heart emoji. Social media erupted with words of love for the 25-year-old comedian and native New Yorker who first appeared on “Saturday Night Live” in 2014. One admirer tweeted “hang in there. There is a lot of help out here. Surrender to some love … I’m praying for you Pete. I’ve been there. It gets better.” Earlier this month, Davidson wrote on Instagram that he has spoken about borderline personality disorder from which he says he suffers, “and being suicidal publicly only in the hopes that it will help bring awareness and help kids like myself who don’t want to be on this earth.”