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The United States sees signs the Syrian government may be using chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack on Sunday in northwest Syria, the State Department said...Defenseread more
Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, will not be tapped to fill the vacancy left by departing White House chief of staff John Kelly, and will exit the Trump administration by year's end.
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, citing sources familiar with the mater, reported that Ayers and President Donald Trump were unable to agree on a time-frame for him to serve, effectively ending negotiations for the 36-year old political veteran to take the senior administration role.
On Twitter, Ayers confirmed that he was leaving Washington, but said he would continue to work to advance the president's policy goals.
NBC and The New York Times reported on Saturday that Ayers was only willing to commit to an interim term through the spring, as his family is expected return to Georgia, citing people familiar with the discussions. Yet the president, eager to tamp down on the storyline of his White House in chaos, wants Ayers to stay on full time.
Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is now being considered at the retired general's permanent replacement, Axios reported on Sunday, citing unnamed sources. A source familiar with the matter told CNBC the president is expected to make a decision by year's end.
Kelly is expected to depart his role as White House Chief of Staff by the end of the year, Trump announced on Saturday, ending a tenure marked by tensions with his boss and confrontations with other key administration figures.
Kelly's departure follows several months of controversy and turmoil, and comes at a time when the president's agenda is imperiled by a midterm election in which Democrats recaptured the House of Representatives. The chief of staff vacancy is just the latest changing of the guard at the administration's highest levels, which includes the U.S. Attorney General, United Nations ambassador and Joint Chiefs of Staff.