By Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Robert Costa | Washington Post
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump had no Plan B.
After announcing the exit of his chief of staff, John Kelly, and being turned down by his pick to replace him, Nick Ayers, Trump found himself Monday in an unexpected predicament – scrambling to recruit someone to help run the executive branch of the federal government and guide the administration through the political tumult and possible legal peril ahead.
In any White House, the chief of staff is arguably the most punishing position. But in this White House – a den of disorder ruled by an impulsive president – it has proved to be an especially thankless job. The two people to hold the job were left with their reputations diminished after failing to constrain the president, who often prefers to function as his own chief of staff.
Three members of Trump’s Cabinet who have been discussed inside the West Wing as possible chiefs of staff – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer – each signaled Monday that they were not interested in the position.
Considerable buzz has centered on two other contenders. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., noted his interest in the job by issuing a statement saying that “serving as Chief of Staff would be an incredible honor.”
“It is not something I have been campaigning for,” Meadows told reporters Monday on Capitol Hill, adding that his phone “blew up” after the Ayers news broke. “The president has a good list of candidates. I’m honored to be one of those.”
And acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who traveled with Trump to Kansas City last week, is seen by the president and his allies as a loyalist.
But Trump’s advisers and aides cautioned that there was …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World