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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 MeadowsHow scientists saved Trump's FDA from politics Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward 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 PriebusEx-Trump chief of staff Priebus mulling Wisconsin governor bid On The Trail: Little GOP interest in post-election introspection Author: Meadows is history's worst White House chief of staff 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 (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's Russia investigation and a Democratic majority in the House. 
 
Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinOn The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears Mnuchin expected to launch investment fund seeking backing from Persian Gulf region: report Larry Kudlow debuts to big ratings on Fox Business Network MORE, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOMB nominee gets hearing on Feb. 9 Republicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief MORE, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 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.