White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is on his way out the door, and President Donald Trump is struggling to find someone to replace him.
After his number one choice, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers, and at least a few others have declined, Trump reportedly is considering his White House adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner for the job.
Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka and already an official White House adviser, met with Trump Wednesday about the job, a top Republican close to the White House told HuffPost. He and two others close to Trump or the White House who confirmed Kushner’s interest in the position did so on condition of anonymity to discuss the president’s staffing considerations freely.
Kushner has been pushing his own candidacy with Trump, citing his work on a criminal justice reform package and a claimed ability to work with Democrats, one person said. “I don’t know why he thinks that, when the Democrats are mainly going to be coming after Trump,” the source said.
The White House did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment, but Trump told reporters on Thursday that he has narrowed the field to five candidates.
“We are interviewing people now for chief of staff,” he said at a photo opportunity with newly elected governors who were visiting the White House.
It is unclear who the five finalists Trump claimed he was looking at are. Former deputy campaign manager David Bossie is scheduled to have lunch with Trump Friday at the White House. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is also thought to be under consideration, while Trump is soliciting names from the legal community in New York City, where he lived his entire life before winning the presidency in 2016.
After Ayers turned the job down, Trump tried to recruit Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, top economic adviser Larry Kudlow and North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, all of whom declined, one source said.