In the latest dramatic turn in the debacle unfolding over filling one of the most powerful posts in the nation, the White House now says Gen. John Kelly will stay on as chief of staff 'at least' through the beginning of the year.
President Donald Trump told reporters he was 'in no rush' to fill the spot, after his planned succession blew up over the weekend.
'We are in no rush. Over a period of a week or two or maybe less we'll announce who it's going to be, but we have a lot of people who want the position,' Trump said in a Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders that included Kelly.
'A lot of friends of mine want it. A lot of people that Chuck and Nancy know very well want it, I think people you'd like,' Trump said, talking up the post. 'We have a lot of people that want the job of chief of staff. So we'll be seeing what happens. We're in no rush.'
'We are in no rush,' said President Donald Trump, of his search for a new chief of staff after the plan to have a successor in place for John Kelly blew up
The reason, Trump said, was 'Because we have a wonderful chief of staff right here.'
Trump's words confirmed what counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway slipped into an appearance on 'Fox & Friends' on Tuesday morning – just days after the White House said Kelly's tenure was nearly over.
'He will stay on the job through January 2nd at least, and I think there were will be a very peaceful and pragmatic transition to the next chief of staff,' Conway said. 'But the President has many people who want to serve here.'
Kelly had been slated to leave by year's end. That was before the president's first pick for the job, Nick Ayers, turned down the position. Now, the White House is admitting that the search for a successor could take weeks, as the president starts his list of replacements almost from scratch.
The White House says now that John Kelly will stay on as chief of staff 'at least' through the beginning of the year
The public unraveling of Trump's search is already provoking ridicule among Democrats.
'Help wanted: White House Chief of Staff. No experience necessary. Must respond well to infighting, backbiting, dishonesty and dishonor,' quipped Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is set to take over the House Intelligence Committee.
'Excited by the prospect of an impossible work environment? Enjoy humiliation? Apply now! *Background check ... negotiable,' he said, in yet another dig at the series of problems getting White House appointees to clear their background checks.
President Donald Trump defended the state of his search for a chief of staff after getting rebuffed by his leading candidate after announcing Gen. John Kelly's departure.
Nick Ayers, the 36-year-old wunderkind who is Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, revealed Sunday that he won't be taking the job. That followed internal talks where Trump wanted a two-year commitment and Ayers would only sign on for a few months helming Trump's tumultuous White House.
'Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position,' the president wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
'Why wouldn't someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!' he added in a defense of his ability to attract top talent.
President Trump is said to have no second choice for his chief of staff. He tweeted Tuesday that many 'are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position'
His trouble hiring a replacement comes after reports of yet another messy staff departure in Kelly's case. CNN reported last week that the two men weren't on speaking terms, as it became clear Kelly would no last.
Trump has disposed of numerous other aides by announcing their departure on Twitter.
Ayers' departure stunned some White House aides, who thought he was a virtual shoo-in for the job.
President Trump defended his staff search, saying 'over ten' people were interested in serving as his chief of staff, often considered one of the most powerful positions in the country
Trump is said to be considering former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (left) and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (right)
Nick Ayers (left) took himself out of the running for the chief of staff job but Rep. Mark Meadows (right) said he is interested after a report he didn't want the gig
Reince Priebus (left) served as Trump's first chief of staff and was followed by John Kelly (right)
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (left) and Director of Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney (right) are said to be in consideration for the chief of staff job
Now a whole host of names are being floated once again, from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christine to budget chief Mick Mulvaney and GOP Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina.
The president's tweet followed a series of reports about the scramble to fill one of the nation's plum jobs. The chief of staff position is sometimes considered the second most powerful role in the nation, depending on how a White House is structured.
Without a Plan B, Trump must now try to bring in top talent at a time when his administration is facing a still-active Russia probe, following court filings that for the first time implicate him in felony campaign finance crimes.
Nick Ayers (L), chief of staff to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, announced he is leaving the White House rather succeeding White House Chief of Staff John Kelly
A Tuesday New York Times story quoted Chris Whipple, who penned a book on chiefs of staff, questioning why someone would even want the job.
'Why would anybody want to be Donald Trump's chief of staff unless you want to steal the office supplies before they shut the place down?' he quipped. 'If you're coming into that job, you've got to lawyer up,' he added.
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6484343/Trump-John-Kelly-chief-staff-New-Year.html