No One Wants to Be Trump’s Chief of Staff. Trump Claims Fake News.

“Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position.”

Joyce N. Boghosian/ZUMA

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As the White House scrambles to name a replacement for outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly, President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied reports he is having difficulty filling the once-highly coveted position. He also, without evidence, accused the media of “purposely” misreporting the details of the search.

“Fake News has it purposely wrong,” he tweeted. “Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington.” He claimed that more than 10 candidates are currently vying for the gig, though it’s unclear who these job-seekers are.

The president’s struggle to fill the position is likely due in part to his own self-professed penchant for conflict among his staff, as well as his noted refusal to be constrained by more orderly processes. “I like conflict. I like having two people with different points of view,” Trump said back in March amid reports of heightened chaos in the West Wing. “I like watching it. I like seeing it.”

Trump’s Tuesday tweet comes days after his rumored top choice for the position, vice presidential chief of staff Nick Ayers, declined to take the job. The decision reportedly shocked the president and has since left the White House without a backup plan. “There was no Plan B, and whoever advised him that Nick Ayers was the right person and would accept the job did the president a grave disservice,” Steve Bannon told the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports several of Trump’s aides are frustrated with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who had been campaigning for months to replace Kelly—apparently without a fully formed plan to do so.

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DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

Mother Jones was founded to do things differently in the aftermath of a political crisis: Watergate. We stand for justice and democracy. We reject false equivalence. We go after, and go deep on, stories others don’t. And we’re a nonprofit newsroom because we knew corporations and billionaires would never fund the journalism we do. Our reporting makes a difference in policies and people’s lives changed.

And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

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