After a year of rumors, John Kelly finally left his White House position. Trump’s next Chief of Staff, his 3rd since taking office, will have to deal with the encroaching Mueller investigation.
The first choice for the position was rising star, Nick Ayers, who currently serves Vice President Mike Pence. Ayers, however, turned down the position and will now leave the administration completely.
Caught off guard, the White House is now moving on to other candidates. One of the current favorites is Mark Meadows, a Republican congressman from North Carolina.
Meadows, a prominent member of the Freedom Caucus, would be a controversial choice. While John Kelly was seen as a moderating voice for Trump, Meadows is more of a firebrand.
Meadows, known for his ultra-conservative views, has spent the last year hoping to shut down the Mueller investigation. One of his main tactics was attacking Rod Rosenstein, who had authority over the probe.
In July, Meadows and Jim Jordan outlined a plan meant to impeach Rosenstein. The measure failed to garner the support needed to move ahead.
In October, Meadows tried again, compelling Rosenstein to resign. He commented, “So with that, I think that it’s time that Rod Rosenstein steps down. He should do so immediately and in doing that, I think it would serve the country well, it would serve this president well.”
The Axios report states that Trump has been asking his closest advisers what they think of Meadows. The report also mentions that three other candidates are being considered as well.
If Meadows is to take the position, it could signal an aggressive push by the White House against Mueller and the FBI. This is in contrast to Ayers, who was thought to be a pragmatic candidate in the John Kelly mold. With Kelly leaving by the end of the year, Trump will have to make a decision soon.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.