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Pence aide Nick Ayers out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff | TribLIVE.com
Politics/Election

Pence aide Nick Ayers out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

The Associated Press
| Sunday, December 9, 2018 5:42 p.m

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff John Kelly, Nick Ayers, is no longer expected to fill the role.

Ayers, who is chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, was seen as the favorite for the job when Trump announced Saturday that Kelly would leave around year’s end. But a White House official said Sunday that Trump and Ayers could not reach agreement on Ayers’ length of service and that he would instead assist the president from outside the administration.

Ayers confirmed the decision in a tweet Sunday, thanking Trump and Pence for giving him the opportunity to work in the White House. “I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause,” he said.

Trump is considering four people as he determines who will be his next chief of staff.

A person familiar with Trump’s thinking tells The Associated Press that the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, is among those under consideration to replace John Kelly.

Mark Meadows was another person mentioned in social media circles.

Ayers and Trump had discussed the job for months. The new hire was to be key to a West Wing reshuffling to shift focus toward the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats in control of the House.

Trump wants his next chief of staff to hold the job through the 2020 election, the official said. Ayers, who has young triplets, had long planned to leave the administration at the end of the year, and had only agreed to serve in an interim basis through next spring.

Ayers will run a pro-Trump super PAC, according to a person familiar with his plans who was not authorized to discuss them by name.

Trump said Saturday that he expected to announce a replacement for Kelly in a day or two.

With Ayers out of the running, Trump is considering four candidates for the post, including Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, according to a person familiar with the president’s thinking. He is to make a decision by the end of the year, said the person, was not authorized to discuss the personnel issue by name.

Kelly, whose last day on the job is set to be Jan. 2, had been credited with imposing order on a chaotic West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary. But his iron first also alienated some longtime Trump allies, and over time he grew increasingly isolated, with an increasingly diminished role.


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In this Aug. 1, 2017 photo, Vice President Mike Pence, left, attends a meeting with Georgia opposition leaders in Tbilisi, Georgia. Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Nick Ayers, is right. Ayers, President Trump’s top pick to replace John Kelly as chief of staff, is no longer expected to fill that role, according to a White House official. The official says that Trump and Ayers could not agree on Ayers’ length of service.
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President Donald Trump greets people after arriving via Air Force One at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. Trump is attending the Army-Navy football game. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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In this June 21, 2018 photo, White House chief of staff John Kelly listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch with governors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Trump says chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job at the end of the year.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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