President Trump took to Twitter this evening with a face-saving declaration after the news leaked earlier today that the rumored top candidate to replace his Chief of Staff John Kelly — Vice-President Pence’s own Chief of Staff Nick Ayers — had turned down the job, citing family obligations as an excuse.
I am in the process of interviewing some really great people for the position of White House Chief of Staff. Fake News has been saying with certainty it was Nick Ayers, a spectacular person who will always be with our #MAGA agenda. I will be making a decision soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2018
Ayers himself sent a tweet thanking the president and announcing that he will be leaving the White House at the end of the year, leaving both the Trump and Pence without anyone serving as their Chiefs of Staff.
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While Trump implies that the decision to refuse Ayers offer to temporarily fill in for Kelly until the spring was his own, Ayers’ rapid departure from Washington indicates otherwise, and many Twitter denizens just didn’t buy it.
The New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman, likely the person Trump is referring to when he said that “Fake News has been saying with certainty it was Nick Ayers,” confirmed that the decision was Ayers own and that Trump didn’t have a serious backup candidate, something Trump’s vagueness in his tweet seems to support.
Confirmed, Ayers told Trump he won’t take the chief of staff role. He’s still leaving the administration and is likely to have a role with the super PAC backing Trump.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 9, 2018
Trump will find someone else besides Ayers, and has options of people who would take it, but he hasn't been leaning toward those folks. He usually has a few fires burning on personnel, but hasn't on this one. It was Ayers or nothing.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 9, 2018
Other Twitter users questioned what the real reason that Ayers turned the normally prestigious position down was, believing that he was making a smart choice in avoiding what is essentially a suicide mission.
Let’s be real. Nick Ayers turned down the job as White House Chief of Staff, because Trump’s a criminal.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) December 9, 2018
Donald Trump’s day so far:
– Adam Schiff talks about Trump going to prison
– Nick Ayers turns down Trump’s Chief of Staff job
– Ayers also resigning from current job on Pence’s staff
– The rats are fleeing because they know it’s over
– It’s still only 4:45pm
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) December 9, 2018
Didn’t believe the “Nick Ayers, Savvy Boy Genius” hype.
He played trump as the simpleton he is. He made trump want him. He made it public. Then left him at the altar.
Why? CoS job is huge, but he sees what’s coming & cleansing his complicity by bitchslapping trump. https://t.co/23YtJC1tnA
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) December 9, 2018
I have now concluded that Nick Ayers is a very smart person. https://t.co/XsHItyRTUm
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 9, 2018
Trump wanted Nick Ayers bad and got rejected. He has tarnished the White House so much that a 36 year old turned down the freakin’ chief of staff job. One of the more humiliating moments in modern presidential history.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 9, 2018
Others thought that, given the fate of many of the other top associates to the president, Ayers was simply avoiding jumping into a spotlight that would invite further scrutiny of his own actions in office.
Ayers is heavily implicated in the Eric Greitens shitstorm of scandals and possibly in the Josh Hawley scandal (which may shed more light on the Greitens scandals) so…yeah
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 9, 2018
And his shady, hateful minister Dr. Michael Youssef, whom Ayers and Pence are both close with.
— Alexandra Chalupa (@AlexandraChalup) December 9, 2018
Whatever Ayers real reasons for turning down the Chief of Staff job, now speculation on whom Trump will choose is running rampant.
NEWS: People now under consideration for White House chief of staff include Acting Attorney General MATT WHITAKER.
Also U.S. Trade Representative ROBERT LIGHTHIZER and Representative MARK MEADOWS.
— Alex Wayne (@aawayne) December 9, 2018
If any of those names weren’t enough to send a chill down your spine, consider the fact that the other name being bandied about to replace John Kelly is his arch-rival, Ivanka Trump.
Whomever Trump picks as his next Chief of Staff he will be facing a dwindling pool of candidates who want to be associated with an administration in its final death throes. The staff turnover at the White House during the Trump administration has been unprecedented, as the list below demonstrates
Top Trump W.H. Departures:
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 9, 2018
With a scorecard like this, it’s not surprising that one Twitter wag congratulated Ayers for setting a new record in the Trump White House for the shortest longevity, using the standard measure.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) December 9, 2018
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