WASHINGTON, D.C. – Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers is expected to replace White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, CBS News reported.
Kelly’s departure is expected to be announced as soon as Friday, several sources told CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent. The move could be announced at a scheduled dinner Friday night with President Donald Trump and senior White House staff.
Ayers, 36, has served in his current role for Pence since July 2017. He previously served as the national chairman for Pence’s vice-presidential campaign in 2016.
CBS News reports Ayers is considered one of the best political strategists in President Trump’s circle. Advocates say he could help the White House with re-election campaign messaging, strategy, presidential travel and fundraising.
Advocates say Ayers served in a key role in Pence landing on the Republican ticket with Trump, CBS News reported. He also helped with the transition from nominee to office and is considered loyal to the Trump administration’s agenda.
From 2007-2010, Ayers served as the executive director of the Republican Governors Association. In 2010, Time magazine named him as one of its 40 most influential people in politics younger than 40 years old.
Kelly’s absence from his office Friday morning was an indicator he will resign, according to CBS News.
In February, the White House said Kelly would not resign amid criticism over the handling of a senior aide accused of domestic violence. At the time, Kelly said a senior aide's resignation came within an hour of learning about new accusations of spousal abuse. Kelly told reporters he learned that staff secretary Rob Porter, the chief of staff's right-hand man, had allegedly abused two ex-wives.