In this file photo taken on February 2, 2018, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly looks on as US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS
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The list of candidates is said to include Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that Kelly would be staying on "at least" through Jan. 2 -- longer than the timeframe Trump had originally provided when he announced the departure news Saturday.Meadows said Monday that he had not discussed the role with the president, but one congressional Republican said Meadows has told others he wants the job.Trump and Ayers had discussed the job for months, and the president had already been steering inquiries to him rather than Kelly.Trump was stung by Ayers' decision to back out, according to people close to him.Trump once mocked his predecessor for chief of staff turnover.Trump has told confidants that he is eager to bring on someone he gets along with as his third chief of staff.
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