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 MeadowsTrump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Ben Shapiro: No prominent GOP figure ever questioned Obama's legitimacy Trump finds consistent foil in 'Squad' MORE (R-N.C.), Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump's latest plan to undermine Social Security Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE, Trump campaign deputy manager David Bossie, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? White House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week 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.