Yankees president downplays interest in White House chief of staff job

New York Yankees President Randy Levine downplayed his interest in the White House chief of staff job on Monday as reports emerged that he was under consideration to succeed John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE

"I have spoken to nobody about the chief of staff job," Levine said in a statement to Fox News. "I have grest [sic] respect for the President but am very happy being president of the Yankees." 

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NBC News reported earlier in the day that Levine was being considered for chief of staff alongside Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsDemocrats seize on new evidence in first public impeachment hearing House Republicans call impeachment hearing 'boring,' dismiss Taylor testimony as hearsay Key takeaways from first public impeachment hearing MORE (R-N.C.), Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNew witness claims firsthand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes Trump files to dismiss lawsuit from Bolton aide on impeachment testimony OMB official to testify in impeachment probe if subpoenaed after others refused MORE, Trump campaign deputy manager David Bossie, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump to tour Apple factory with Tim Cook on Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. 

Levine, who was hired as Yankees president in 2000, is a longtime Trump supporter and Republican political veteran. Levine was principal associate deputy attorney general and principal deputy attorney general in the Justice Department under former President Reagan.

He also served as New York City’s deputy mayor for economic development, planning and administration under Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who is now Trump's lawyer.

Many of those on Trump's shortlist of possible chiefs of staff have expressed reluctance to accept the position, according to multiple reports.

"Sources tell us some of Trump's White House chief of staff contenders are signaling they're not interested, including Rep. Mark Meadows and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who are said to have a hard time getting to 'yes' if asked," NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett tweeted on Monday afternoon

A White House official on Sunday confirmed that Nick Ayers, a Republican operative and chief of staff to Vice President Pence, would not serve as Trump's chief of staff following widespread speculation that he would.
 
Ayers instead plans to leave the administration at year's end to work for a pro-Trump super PAC.    
 
The president announced on Saturday that Kelly would leave his post as chief of staff by the end of the year, following months of reports out of the White House that Kelly was eyeing the exit.