President Donald Trump on Tuesday stated that he would pick his next White House chief of staff in a “week or two,” adding he is in “no rush” to choose a successor to John Kelly.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump pushed back on the notion he is struggling to find a new top aide after his top choice, Nick Ayers, turned down the position.
“We have a lot of people who want the position,” Trump said.
The Daily Mail reported that Trump remarks came after a heated conversation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer over funding for a border wall. They mark the first time Trump has addressed the chief of staff vacancy in person since Ayers’s surprise decision over the weekend to not take the job.
The President did not specify who he was considering for the role, other than to say a lot of friends of his want the job, as do “people that Chuck (Schumer) and Nancy (Pelosi) know.”
Several news reports over the last 24 hours have characterized Trump as scrambling to find an alternative pick. Sources told The Hill that there was no clear plan B after Ayers, who is currently Vice President Pence’s top aide, said he will leave the administration soon to work for a pro-Trump super PAC.
Potential candidates for the job that have been reported in recent days include Representative. Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Meadows said on Monday that it would be an “incredible honor” to be chosen as chief of staff, and Bossie appeared on Fox News Tuesday morning and appeared to lay out his credentials for the job.
The other candidates have reportedly indicated they’d prefer to stay in their current roles.
Trump announced on Saturday that Kelly would leave his role as chief of staff at the end of the year, marking the end of a 17-month tenure that was marked by frequent reports of tensions with the President.
Kelly’s replacement will become Trump’s third chief of staff during his less than two years in the White House. Kelly replaced the President’s first top aide, Reince Priebus, in July 2017.