President Trump is ready to dump Chief of Staff John Kelly for his mishandling of the matter involving alleged wife beater Rob Porter, but one thing is holding him back: No one else wants the job.
According to Vanity Fair, the Trump-Kelly feud within the West Wing has turned into a “death match,” with various factions vying to choose Kelly’s successor:
“In recent days, Trump has floated names like White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, and longtime friend Tom Barrack, a real-estate developer. Meanwhile, factions inside and outside the White House are lobbying Trump to go with other potential choices. The battle to decide who could replace Kelly has reopened the deep fissures in Trump’s divided West Wing. One adviser to the White House referred to the current atmosphere inside the administration as a ‘death match.’ With Kelly’s truthfulness about the former White House secretary widely questioned, few believe he can survive, but he may twist for a while.”
Mulvaney, a former GOP member of Congress, would seem to make the most sense, but has no interest in the job:
“‘Mulvaney doesn’t want it. His goal is run for governor or land a corporate gig,’ speculated one White House adviser. ‘And his thinking is, if you’re Trump’s chief of staff, you stain yourself for the future.'”
Another name being bandied about is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has expressed interest in the job, but also longs to be Speaker of the House if Paul Ryan decides not to seek reelection or loses in November:
“McCarthy harbors ambitions to be the next House Speaker and has told people he’s worried that Republicans would blame him if he were serving as chief during a midterm rout by Democrats. ‘He knows there will be a revolution against him,’ one Republican who’s spoken with McCarthy said.”
Does all of this mean Kelly’s days as Chief of Staff are numbered? Probably, but if no one can be found to replace him, what does Trump do then? Appoint Ivanka?
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