US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff to replace his, John Kelly.
General Kelly will reportedly be ousted over close ties with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who is herself to be fired, multiple reports said Tuesday.
Sources close to the administration told The Hill that Nick Ayers, who serves as chief of staff to Vice President Pence, is the leading contender.
Trump has privately met with Ayers, a young GOP operative, in the past couple of weeks, indicating that he is being considered for the post.
Both Trump and the White House have declined to comment on the upcoming dismissals.
Ayers has a close relationship with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter, Ivanka Trump as well as the rest of the Trumps.
“It’s an understatement to say the knives are out for him. The machetes are out for him,” said one former White House official.
The upcoming shakeup is coming in the wake of Trump’s loss in the 2018 midterms, after which the Republicans lost control of the US House of Representatives.
One day after the vote, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The president has criticized Nielsen for what he believes to be poor performance on border enforcement.
“The secretary is honored to lead the men and women of DHS and is committed to implementing the president’s security-focused agenda to protect Americans from all threats and will continue to do so,” Department of Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement.