According to the Huffington Post, President Trump is considering giving Jared Kushner a big promotion. The president’s son-in-law and top advisor is in the running to become the next White House Chief of Staff, the Huffington Post reports, once current chief of staff John Kelly resigns at the end of the year. The news comes after several other reported candidates for the job either turned it down or were rejected by Trump.
However, Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted later in the day that Kushner isn't actually under consideration for the chief of staff position, citing a White House official. Bustle has reached out to the White House for clarification.
Ever since Trump announced that Kelly would resign by the end of the year, speculation has swirled around who will become his next chief of staff. Trump’s first choice for the job, according to Politico, was Nick Ayers, a longtime Republican political operative who currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff. Ayers, however, took himself out of consideration, announcing over the weekend that he will be leaving the White House by the end of the year. One source told the Huffington Post that Ayers was initially interested in taking the job on an interim basis but grew “less interested the more time he spent with Trump.”
The next candidate rumored to be in the running was Rep. Mark Meadows, the conservative Republican from North Carolina. He's reportedly close with Trump, but the White House said in a statement Wednesday that ultimately, the president concluded that Meadows would be of more use in Congress than in the White House. The Washington Post reports that Trump opted against Meadows, in part, to avoid the special election that would be required to fill his congressional seat.
According to the Huffington Post, Trump also considered Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and economic adviser Larry Kudlow for the position, but none of them wanted it.
Several other names have been floated to fill Kelly’s shoes, according to the Washington Post, including Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, former Trump Deputy Campaign Manager David Bossie, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Trump himself said on Thursday that he’s down to five candidates, though he didn’t name any names.
Kushner has long been one of Trump's closest confidantes, and according to the Huffington Post, is actively lobbying Trump for the chief of staff job. However, Kushner has many enemies in the White House, according to several books about the administration. Many of his actions have fallen under close scrutiny since the election, and ProPublica reported in May that he had to update his financial disclosure forms more than 40 times after omitting necessary information from them.
Trump named Kelly, a retired four-star general, as his chief of staff in mid-2017. This was widely understood as an attempt to bring order to the White House, but Kelly and Trump reportedly butted heads frequently, and CNN reported on Friday that the two hadn't spoken in days.