John Kelly, mired in conflicts with a widening array of officials from the National Security Council to the office of the first lady, may soon depart the Trump administration, according to seven people familiar with the discussions.
Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, is among those being considered for the job, three of the people said, though President Donald Trump has mused about other possible candidates.
Kelly’s time as chief of staff for most of the past year has been clouded by controversy and disagreements with Trump and various West Wing staff. But questions about his future in the White House recently became more serious after his repeated clashes with national security adviser John Bolton and his deputy, Mira Ricardel.
Kelly has also gotten on the wrong side of first lady Melania Trump over staffing issues and travel requests. Some of the disputes with the East Wing have escalated to the president, the seven people familiar with the clashes said.
"There have been instances where the East Wing staff were not treated as equals to the male-dominated decision makers in Chief Kelly’s office," one White House official said. "Promotions were denied then finally granted after months of requests," the official said.
Melania Trump raised concerns with her husband earlier this year, amid the height of the controversy over his alleged affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels, that Kelly had repeatedly denied her requests to promote some of her aides, two White House officials told NBC News.
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