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Trump still searching for chief of staff

Days after his ...

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 11:07 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 11:07 PM

Days after his White House chief of staff succession plans crumbled, President Donald Trump is still working to come up with a Plan B.

"We have a lot of people who want the job of chief of staff and we'll be seeing what happens very soon. We're in no rush," Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Democratic congressional leaders, adding he plans to announce his pick "over a period of a week or two, or maybe less."

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Earlier Tuesday morning, the President sought to dispel reports of the headwinds he faces in tapping a new chief of staff, saying "the Fake News has it purposely wrong."

"Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn't someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington," Trump tweeted.

Trump was left hanging when Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Nick Ayers, who was expected to succeed White House chief of staff John Kelly, refused the President's request that he commit to a two-year tenure on the job. While Trump had long considered others for the chief of staff post, he had settled on Ayers and did not have a clear runner-up.

The President is now returning to the selection process anew, this time with fresh developments in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation that leave little doubt about the rocky road that lies ahead for Trump and whoever accepts to steer an already chaotic West Wing through the tumult.

CNN has reported on several potential contenders for the position, including Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina; acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; and former Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie.

The President is polling a slew of friends and advisers -- inside and outside the White House -- about various candidates and drawing inspiration from his TV screen, where those vying for the post are not-so-subtly making their case to their audience of one.

Trump is scheduled to meet for lunch later this week with Bossie and another close outside ally, his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. But a source said the meeting was scheduled before Trump renewed his search for a chief of staff.

Still, Bossie took to Fox News on Tuesday morning to address his position on the list of contenders, calling it "humbling" as he coyly touted his qualifications for the post.

Noting that he has "known the President a long, long time," Bossie said that he understands the political movement that elected Trump and stressed the importance of Trump picking someone who understands the House investigatory process -- of which he was a key part during Republicans' impeachment of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

As Trump has grown more concerned about the prospect of impeachment, a source familiar with the discussions said Trump has questioned Bossie about the process and what lessons he learned from the Clinton impeachment.

Still, a source familiar with the chief of staff selection process confidently poured cold water on the prospect of Bossie getting tapped for the post, saying he has a "0.0% chance" of succeeding Kelly.

Meadows said it was "flattering" to be considered for the position and also touted some of his credentials for the chief of staff job, calling himself "a strategy guy."

"Being able to work strategically, whether it's here or whether it's someplace else, is something that I would enjoy doing," Meadows told reporters on Monday.

On Tuesday morning, he said he had not spoken to Trump in the last 48 hours and said he had "no update" on his status.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38567

Reported Deaths: 1290
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds318859
DeSoto211220
Madison158940
Jones126651
Harrison126017
Rankin123420
Forrest110544
Neshoba105978
Lauderdale98383
Scott84315
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Washington80615
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Lee66223
Grenada64713
Oktibbeha64428
Lamar6257
Warren61622
Holmes61442
Leflore58856
Wayne58819
Yazoo5847
Lowndes56917
Sunflower5659
Lincoln54436
Pike53724
Lafayette5364
Panola5176
Monroe49139
Simpson4803
Covington4735
Bolivar46318
Tate43113
Pontotoc4066
Attala39424
Adams39221
Newton38410
Marion36312
Pearl River32332
Claiborne32212
Winston31413
Chickasaw31319
Marshall3104
Jasper3016
Walthall29210
Noxubee2869
Clay27411
Union26611
Smith26312
Coahoma2516
Clarke24125
Tallahatchie2394
Lawrence2222
Yalobusha2169
Montgomery1973
Carroll19611
Kemper18914
Calhoun1875
Humphreys18410
Itawamba1638
Hancock16214
Tippah15411
Webster13611
Jefferson1353
Prentiss1344
George1313
Jefferson Davis1304
Tunica1293
Greene12510
Tishomingo1251
Amite1243
Alcorn1232
Quitman1111
Wilkinson1079
Perry994
Stone852
Choctaw794
Franklin602
Benton580
Sharkey540
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 60158

Reported Deaths: 1200
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7449176
Mobile5349157
Montgomery4732118
Madison290112
Tuscaloosa283754
Marshall213313
Shelby188027
Lee179337
Baldwin149912
Morgan14897
DeKalb11457
Etowah113614
Walker113537
Elmore111825
Dallas103312
Franklin97016
Unassigned84228
Russell7610
Autauga74318
Limestone7254
Cullman7136
Chambers69932
Houston6848
St. Clair6714
Lauderdale6647
Tallapoosa66272
Butler65931
Calhoun6426
Colbert6138
Escambia56212
Jackson5113
Pike5016
Lowndes49723
Coffee4734
Covington45214
Talladega4517
Dale4283
Barbour4263
Bullock38110
Marengo38111
Hale37523
Chilton3693
Blount3671
Marion35514
Clarke3396
Wilcox3328
Winston3167
Sumter30613
Randolph28610
Monroe2833
Pickens2827
Perry2702
Conecuh2558
Bibb2382
Macon2359
Choctaw22112
Greene2029
Washington1679
Henry1653
Lawrence1590
Crenshaw1433
Cherokee1407
Geneva1100
Lamar961
Clay942
Fayette923
Coosa681
Cleburne621
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