President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE on Tuesday said he would announce his next White House chief of staff in a "week or two," adding he is in "no rush" to choose a successor to John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump pushed back on the notion he is struggling to find a new top aide after his first choice, Nick Ayers, turned down the position.
"We have a lot of people who want the position," Trump said.
His comments came after a heated conversation with House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight On The Money — Congress races to keep the lights on House sets up Senate shutdown showdown MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProgressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan Collins says she supports legislation putting Roe v. Wade protections into law Biden should seek some ideological diversity MORE (D-N.Y.) over funding for a border wall. They mark the first time Trump has addressed the chief of staff vacancy in person since Ayers's surprise decision over the weekend to not take the job.
The president did not specify who he was considering for the role, other than to say a lot of friends of his want the job, as do "people that Chuck and Nancy know."
Several news reports over the last 24 hours have characterized Trump as scrambling to find an alternative pick. Sources told The Hill that there was no clear plan B after Ayers, who is currently Vice President Pence's chief of staff, said he will leave the administration soon to work for a pro-Trump super PAC.
Potential candidates for the job that have been reported in recent days include Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsProsecutors say North Carolina woman deserves prison for bringing 14-year-old to Capitol riot Meadows calls Trump's positive COVID-19 test before Biden debate 'fake news' Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE (R-N.C.), Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules Mnuchin and McConnell discuss debt limit during brief meeting Major Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report MORE, U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' MORE and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyJan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 11, including Pierson, other rally organizers MORE.
The other candidates have reportedly indicated they'd prefer to stay in their current roles.
Trump announced on Saturday that Kelly would leave his role as chief of staff at the end of the year, marking the end of a 17-month tenure that was marked by frequent reports of tensions with the president.
Kelly's replacement will become Trump's third chief of staff during his less than two years in the White House. Kelly replaced the president's first top aide, Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTim Scott says he'd support Trump reelection bid Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans MORE, in July 2017.
Updated at 12:46 p.m.