Thanks but no thanks
In an embarrassing public rejection, President Trump's reported pick to replace White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has turned him down.
Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, was reportedly Trump's only choice to replace Kelly to the point that an announcement of his selection had been drafted, The New York Times reports. But on Sunday, Ayers said he would not take the job and would instead return home to Georgia.
So why did Ayers turn down what should be a highly-desired job? Here are some possible explanations.
1. The Times and CNN report that Trump asked Ayers to commit for two years, but he was only willing to take the job on an interim basis. When they couldn't agree on a timeline, Ayers decided to decline. CNN notes that Ayers has young kids, and thus didn't want to stay in the White House until 2020.
2. Conservative columnist John Podhoretz speculates that Ayers wanted to avoid being in the White House during the impending wave of Democratic investigations and possible indictments, per Talking Points Memo. Politico reports that Ayers plans to run for office in Georgia, and perhaps he sensed that staying on staff amid such chaos could only hurt those chances.
3. Similarly, The Washington Post reports that Ayers was "skeptical of taking the job based on the challenges" his predecessors, Reince Priebus and Kelly, faced. Kelly and Trump reportedly stopped speaking in recent days.
4. The Times reports that Ayers, whose net worth is more than $12 million, may have wanted to avoid "scrutiny of his personal finances." Ayers is now reportedly going to make a whole lot of money running a pro-Trump Super PAC.
5. Finally, The Times' Maggie Haberman writes that Ayers was essentially being used by those opposed to Kelly to push him out of the job, and "toward the end, he may have realized that."