The White House had a press release announcing Vice President Chief of Staff Nick Ayers as President Trump’s pick to replace soon-departing Chief of Staff John Kelly drafted before Ayers ultimately declined the offer on Sunday, according to The New York Times.
Seen as the top, and only, contender for the post, Trump reportedly wanted Ayers’ appointment to be announced “as soon as possible,” in the Times’ words.
But Trump and Ayers could not come to an agreement on the conditions of Ayers appointment, according to the Times. Ayers wanted to serve on an interim basis, while Trump wanted him to stay in the post longterm. Three people familiar with the events told the Times that the two also couldn’t agree on who Ayers could get rid of on staff.
Ayers announced Sunday that he would be leaving the administration at the end of the year and wanted to return to Georgia and spend more time with his family. The top Pence aide is widely considered a potential candidate for office in Georgia and likely wanted to put some separation between himself and a mercurial Trump to boost his political career.