Trump says he's considering 10 to 12 contenders for chief of staff

 
In an interview with Reuters, Trump insisted he is not having trouble finding people to fill one of the most demanding jobs in government despite the fact several possible contenders have taken themselves out of the running.
 
"I have at least 10, 12 — 12 people that want it badly," Trump told the news agency. "Everybody wants it. Who doesn't want to be one of the top few people in Washington, D.C.?"
 
Trump name-checked two potential candidates for the job, calling Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsConservative leader Meadows condemns King comments 'in strongest sense' Republicans request update on investigation into ex-FBI official accused of leaks Hopes fade for bipartisan bills in age of confrontation MORE (R-N.C.) a "great guy" and former Trump campaign adviser David Bossie a "friend of mine," but did not reveal which way he is leaning.
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"I could do it immediately. I'm in no rush. A lot of people want it," Trump said.
 
Trump has been scrambling to find a new chief of staff after announcing Kelly's departure on Saturday. His top choice for the job, Nick Ayers, turned down the role, causing the president to start from square one in the job search. 
 
Kelly's successor would be Trump's third chief of staff in less than two years in the White House, which would set a record among modern presidents and is indicative of the high rate of turnover on his staff.
 
The president, who famously clashed with Kelly during his 17 months in the West Wing, said he is looking for "somebody that I can really get along with well."
 
"Somebody whose ideas are similar to my ideas. Somebody that will take my ideas and go with them," he added. "That doesn't mean they can't be questioned. I like being questioned."
 
Kelly was left diminished after Trump rejected his efforts to impose order inside the chaotic White House after he was tapped for the job in July 2017, replacing Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTrump Org hires former WH ethics lawyer to deal with congressional probes Trump's national security team is constant source of turnover The Democratic and Anti-democratic parties MORE
 
Ayers, who currently serves as Vice President Pence's chief of staff, could not come to an agreement on the length of his service and announced Sunday he would leave the administration. White House officials said he is expected to join a pro-Trump super PAC. 
 
Trump is said to be searching for someone who has deep political experience as his White House gears up for the 2020 election as well as a tumultuous period when the president will be forced to contend with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's Russia investigation and a Democratic majority in the House. 
 
Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMIT removed Russian oligarch from board following sanctions from Treasury Department Mnuchin meets with Senate GOP to shore up ranks on Russia sanctions vote Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report MORE, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyFormer PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report Ivanka Trump to help pick new World Bank president, but will not be one of the candidates Juan Williams: Trump's wall is founded on fiction MORE, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE were under consideration but have indicated they are not interested in the job. 
 
In addition to Bossie and Meadows, who has all but openly campaigned for the job, Trump is said to be considering former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). 
 
One unconventional person floated for the job, New York Yankees President Randy Levine, said Monday he is not interested.