President Trump's Turbulent List of Candidates for Chief of Staff

Trump's chief of staff: Nick Ayers not taking role, to leave White House at year's end

Democrats, who will be assuming control of the House of Representatives next year, are expected to take full advantage of their new subpoena power to investigate everything from the actions of Trump administration officials to the president's business dealings, flooding the White House with inquiries. He offered to become chief of staff temporarily, but Trump was firm on a two-year commitment, and talks fell apart.

As Democrats search for a candidate to run in the next elections in late 2020, James Comey - the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief abruptly fired by Trump after he came to power - said voters must "use every breath we have to make sure the lies stop on 20 January 2021".

Nick Ayers, the 36-year-old chief of staff to Mike Pence, the U.S. vice president, was widely considered the front-runner to replace Mr Kelly.

People Mr Trump is actively weighing, or has mentioned as possibilities, include Republican representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus; US trade representative Robert Lighthizer; budget director Mick Mulvaney and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, according to several people familiar with the matter. Mr Trump's administration is characterised by independent-minded senior officials and an improvisational president who relies on a network of friends and outside advisers for counsel.

Trump announced Saturday that Kelly would be departing the White House around the end of the year. But he has at times clashed with Trump, who openly voiced his frustration with Kelly for months.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

Seen as the top, and only contender, for the post, Trump reportedly wanted Ayers appointment to be announced "as soon as possible", in the Times words.

"This White House is headed into a world of trouble - a Democratic Congress, Mueller closing in, and anybody who comes into this White House has to be thinking about lawyering up".

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"The Trump Administration has accomplished more than any other U.S. Administration in its first two (not even) years of existence, & we are having a great time doing it!" he said in a tweet.

With Nick Ayers unexpectedly taking himself out of the running to be President Trump's next chief of staff, Trump "finds himself in the unaccustomed position of having no obvious second option, "The New York Times reports".

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in the East Room of the White House on March 15, 2018.

"I appreciate his service very much", Trump said.

WHIPPLE: You can not govern effectively without empowering a White House chief to execute your agenda and tell you hard truths.

Kelly, a four-star general who previously served as homeland security secretary, has been lauded by current and former aides who say he brought order to the West Wing.

But his iron first also alienated some longtime Trump allies, and he grew increasingly isolated, with a gradually diminished role in recent months.

But then Ayers pulled the rug out from under Trump, According to Sherman, he insisted that, even after he had agreed to take Kelly's job, he would only stay in it for a few months, which was unacceptable to Trump.

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