Politics

Rep. Mark Meadows on Trump’s Short List for Chief of Staff: Reports

Freedom Caucus chairman would be president’s third chief of staff in less than two years

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., has been floated as a potential replacement for chief of staff in the White House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and his top advisers are considering whether to make Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, his next chief of staff.

Axios first reported the president’s consideration of Meadows, one of his fiercest defenders in the House since he took office.

Trump has asked his closest advisers about tapping the North Carolina Republican to lead his administration in addition to three other people, Axios reported, though it could not confirm any other candidates. White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been rumored as candidates for the job, other news outlets have reported.

Meadows is expected to leave his post as Freedom Caucus chairman next month. 

Trump said Saturday that current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will leave his post at the end of the year, concluding a rocky tenure during which he clashed with his boss.

“A great guy,” Trump said of the retired Marine Corps general as he left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

“We’ll be announcing who will be taking John’s place” in the next few days, Trump added.

But Kelly’s presumed replacement, Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, has declined Trump's terms to be the next chief of staff until the end of his four-year term.

Trump soon will have his third chief of staff in under two years in office. In a January 2012 tweet, Trump wrote this of then-President Barack Obama: “3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can't manage to pass his agenda.”

Kelly is the latest Cabinet official or senior White House staffer to exit Trump’s ever-changing roster of advisers and department heads. But he brushes off any notion that his staff has had more turnover than other administrations, even though the data suggests it does.

“People leave,” Trump said during a rowdy 90-minute press conference just hours before Sessions resignation at his behest was announced in a tweet.

“And I’ll tell you, there will be changes. Nothing monumental from that standpoint. I don’t think very much different than most administrations,” Trump said. “We have many people lined up for every single position. Any position.

“Everybody wants to work in this White House. We are a hot country. This is a hot White House,” the president contended. “We are a White House that people want to work with.”

Watch: President Trump Announces His Picks for AG and UN Ambassador

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