Meadows Out of the Running as Trump’s Chief of Staff

December 13, 2018 Updated: December 13, 2018

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is no longer being considered for the position of chief of staff in the Trump administration, the White House has said.

In response to the Dec. 13 decision, Meadows said that he “fully supports” Trump’s reasons for the announcement.

“Mr. Trump is a dear, dear friend,” he told The Epoch Times. “We have multiple conversations a week and the fact that I’m able to serve him here, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

“I fully support his efforts to find the right chief of staff.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump believed Meadows was best placed to help the administration through his role in the House as an outsider.

“Congressman Mark Meadows is a great friend to President Trump and is doing an incredible job in Congress.

“The President told him we need him in Congress so he can continue the great work he is doing there,” she said in a statement on Dec. 13.

Meadows was believed to be one of the top candidates for the position after John Kelly announced on Dec. 9 he “will be leaving” at the end of the year.

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, had originally been tipped to replace Kelly until he announced almost in tandem with Kelly that he was also leaving the White House.

Trump said in a Dec. 13 update that he has since narrowed down his list of best candidates for the job to five people, although it has not been revealed who is named on that list.

Names such as former Trump campaign deputy manager David Bossie, former Gov. of New Jersey Chris Christie, director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Republican fundraiser Wayne Berman have been mentioned by political pundits as possible contenders.

With reporting by Holly Kellum.