Trump considers Chris Christie or Mark Meadows for Chief of Staff

Sunday, 16 Dec, 2018

He has answered the critics, sort of, by announcing the appointment of Mick Mulvaney as "Acting White House Chief of Staff". "I look forward to working with him in this new capacity".

The mere suggestion of Kushner as a candidate triggered scorn and nepotism jokes from Trump's critics, like incoming Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who tweeted sarcastically: "Classic Republican "bootstrap" meritocracy".

Mulvaney reports for duty when Kelly departs at the end of the year.

Mr Trump praised Mr Kelly's service and called him a "great patriot" in the tweet. For Trump, picking Mulvaney is effectively as close as possible to picking himself for chief of staff. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the personnel matter on the record. As I noted here, he's been an important member of the administration.

Trump has recently announced via microblogging platform Twitter that he'll be naming Mick Mulvaney, a well-known bitcoin supporter, the new Acting White House Chief of Staff.

Trump's search for a new White House chief of staff is now centered around Kushner and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Reuters reported Friday. Many people think he's already completely over his head and shouldn't be up for the position. The White House said there is no time limit on the role.

Mulvaney is about as solid a pick as Trump could make under the circumstances.

Mulvaney often appears on Sunday TV talk shows to defend Trump's policies. In a letter to OMB staff Saturday afternoon obtained by The Associated Press, Mulvaney said that four staffers - including his chief of staff, Emma Doyle - would be moving over to the West Wing when he begins, effective January 2. Many expected Nick Ayers, Vice President Pence's chief of staff, to assume the role, but he also decided he will be leaving the administration.

The news is sure to set off warnings of nepotism, however, especially considering that Mr Kushner had no prior experience in government before Mr Trump's election.

Under Trump, the chief of staff has been heavily involved in damage control and attempting to manage what has been a chaotic presidency.