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Posted: December 10, 2018
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Nick Ayers Won't Be Next White House Chief Of Staff; Trump Considers Mark Meadows, Mick Mulvaney




Update: And the reports of all the candidates in the running for Trump's chief of staff role are beginning to trickle out.

About an hour after Axios said that Trump has been asking friends and associates about hiring Mark Meadows, the House Freedom Caucus leader, to be his next chief of staff, the Associated Press reported that Mick Mulvaney, who is presently running both the OMB and CFPB, is also a contender.

This isn't the first time Mulvaney has been rumored to be a possible chief of staff pick; he's been a perennial favorite (along with Ayers) for the role. Though his already hefty portfolio of responsibilities has been cited as one reason he might not be the best candidate. In addition to Meadows and Mulvaney, Trump is reportedly considering two others for the role, according to the AP.

Though it didn't name the other candidates.

* * *

In a surprising twist, veteran Republican operative Nick Ayers, currently the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, won't be tapped to replace John Kelly as White House chief of staff when Kelly leaves the West Wing, a transition that President Trump confirmed would happen by the end of the year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

WSJ said Ayers and Trump were unable to agree on a time frame for the job; Trump reportedly wanted a two-year commitment from Ayers, which he was unwilling to make due to "family concerns". The 36-year-old Ayers is the father of 6-year-old triplets. He is reportedly planning on leaving the Trump Administration at the end of this year, which means the chief of staff positions for the president and vice president could soon be vacant.
Mr. Ayers is currently chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence. White House officials had recently described him as the front-runner for the position.

It was unclear on Sunday who would succeed John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s current chief of staff, who is leaving the job this month. White House officials familiar with the planning said it was unclear whether the next staff chief would come from inside or outside the administration.

Mr. Ayers has long planned to leave the administration at the end of the year.

Ayers is reportedly leaving the administration on good terms. He will join a Republican Political Action Committee where he can help the administration "from the outside," according to a source quoted by Axios.
 "Nick couldn't give POTUS a two-year commitment so he's going to help him on the outside instead," one of these sources told me. (This news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.)

Ayers confirmed that he had taken himself out of the running in a tweet, adding that he would be leaving the White House at hte end of the year.

Ayers has long been said to be the leading candidate to replace Kelly; his deep connections with Republican legislators and other Republican operatives have been cited as a crucial advantage over Kelly, who reportedly struggled to make inroads on Capitol Hill after taking the chief of staff job during the summer of 2017.

Ayers is expected to run the pro-Trump outside group America First.

Ayers

Nick Ayers

In place of Ayers, Trump is considering tapping Freedom Caucus leader and North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, Axios reported.
Trump has asked confidants what they think about the idea of installing Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, as John Kelly's permanent replacement, according to these three sources.

Meadows has also long been rumored as a contender for the chief of staff job, though Ayers has typically been cited as Trump's preferred candidate.


Like Ayers, Meadows also has deep connections on Capitol Hill, which should aid his ability to carry out the chief of staff's responsibility of serving as a liaison with Congressional leaders. But still, as Axios cautions, nothing is set in stone. And Trump has yet to make a final decision.



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