"He’s not currently inclined to pursue it," an anonymous source told Reuters

By Sam Gillette
December 14, 2018 03:11 PM
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Donald Trump is not getting his reported first choice for chief of staff, so he’s looking to family, according to multiple reports.

On Dec. 8, President Trump announced that his current chief of staff, retired General John Kelly, will be leaving his post by the end of the year. And while the president said, “I appreciate his service very much,” according to the AP, there has been tension between the two men and Kelly was almost ousted from his role multiple times.

After the vice president’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers turned down the offer to replace Kelly, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — who is currently senior advisor to the president — is now a contender, according to CBS.

Kushner, who is married to the president’s daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump, met with Trump on Wednesday to discuss the position, CBS reported.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump
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An anonymous source told Reuters that recently “numerous people” have recommended that Kushner fill the role because he is close to Trump and has had successes, like helping to create new trade deals with Canada and Mexico, according to the outlet.

“It’s possible that this is why this is appearing at this moment in time, especially because what everyone knows you need is someone who has a good relationship with the president,” the source told Reuters.

But the president’s son-in-law is content where he is. “He’s not currently inclined to pursue it,” the source told Reuters.

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders denied knowing about Kushner’s candidacy.

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“I’m not aware that he’s under consideration,” she told reporters, according to Reuters. “But as I think all of us here would recognize, he will be great in any role that the president chooses to put him in.”

The president also met with former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who served as an advisor during his 2016 presidential campaign, on Thursday. Christie announced he’d turned down the role on Friday, saying in a statement to the New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman that it was an “honor” to be considered.

“However, I’ve told the President that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment,” said the statement. “As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”

The latest news about Kushner and Christie contribute to reports that Trump is struggling to find a replacement — which he adamantly denies.

On Tuesday, he spoke with reporters during his tense Oval Office conversation with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who is the likely next House speaker.

The president
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“We have a lot of great people for chief of staff, a lot of people want the job,” Trump said as reported by Politico.

“A lot of people wanted to have it, and 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. And we have a lot of people who want the job chief of staff, and so we’ll be seeing what happens very soon,” he claimed.

The same day, Trump further contested reports of struggle, claiming that there are more than 10 people clamoring for the role.

“Fake News has it purposely wrong,” he tweeted. “Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington.”