Retiring GOP Rep. Mark Meadows has emerged as a leading candidate to replace acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who has been unable to escape President Trump’s doghouse, according to a reports.
Mulvaney is expected to bolt from the administration after the Senate wraps up its impeachment trial, Politico reported, citing five administration sources.
And that leaves Meadows — the staunchly pro-Trump North Carolinian — as the president’s apparent “chief-of-staff in waiting,” according to the website.
Trump’s top aides, unhappy with Mulvaney’s performance — particularly his assertion that there was a quid-pro-quo in the president’s dealings with Ukraine, which he later tried to walk back — have been compiling lists of possible replacements.
And Meadows, who was up for the post in December 2018 but didn’t get it because Trump wanted him to remain in Congress fighting for him — may be at the top.
A top Republican close to the White House likened Mulvaney as a child who is seen but no longer heard in the West Wing.
“He is there. I’ll leave it at that. He’s like a kid. His role at the dinner table is to be seen and not heard,” the source told the website.
When he announced that he would not seek re-election, Meadows made it clear that he was eager to continue working in some capacity to help the president, whom he has steadfastly defended throughout his term, never more so than during impeachment proceedings.
But other sources said that Meadows might not be named to the post until after, or if, Trump wins reelection in 2020.
Meadows is also pals with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his closest advisers, and they reportedly speak almost daily.
Meadows, 60, is a four-term lawmaker representing North Carolina’s solidly Republican, 90 percent-white 11th Congressional District in the western corner of the Tar Heel State.
Neither Meadows nor the White House would comment for the report.
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