Now that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, the next question is who else will be working for him in the White House? Could a familiar face be given the role of chief of staff?
So far, a few reports have emerged regarding who Trump may pick to fill the chief of staff position. The first is Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. Time magazine quotes two inside sources who say that Priebus is the inside favorite for the job. During Donald Trump’s acceptance speech on Tuesday, the president-elect specifically called Priebus up on stage, asking him to say a few words and thanking him for his hard work on the campaign.
Priebus told Today that he has had “no conversations” about serving as chief of staff, adding that he hasn’t even thought about a possible role for him in the Trump administration. However, this doesn’t rule him out, as according to NBC News, no one under consideration for a White House position has been contacted yet. The transition team is being led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Throughout the Republican primary, as Donald Trump inched closer and closer to the nomination to the chagrin of the party establishment, Priebus was thought to be nearing the end of his career, as it would be his fault that Trump was nominated and that the Republicans lost the election to Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, he may now have a key role in the most powerful government in the world.
But it sounds as if Donald Trump himself has a different idea. The New York Times reports that Steve Bannon is now a top contender for the chief of staff position, and Trump’s advisers consider him to be a positive influence on the president-elect. Bannon is the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, a far right website that is widely read among Trump supporters but which has been criticized due to controversial articles like “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews” and “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew.” Bannon served as chief executive officer during the Trump presidential campaign, being hired in August of 2016. Like Trump, Bannon has no political experience whatsoever, serving in the United States Navy at a young age and then going to work for Goldman Sachs.
Another possibility is Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager. At the moment this is mainly just speculation, but Conway herself did confirm on Twitter that she has been offered a job in the White House. There are only so many positions she could be referring to, with press secretary being another strong contender. Conway joined the Trump campaign in August, just three months before the election. She was hired at a time when Trump was sinking in the polls, but in the weeks that followed, she was able to get Trump to stick to a teleprompter, stay on message, and eventually pull off the most outstanding upset in American political history. This was particularly impressive considering that Conway, like Trump and Bannon, has little political experience, instead having previously worked as a pollster (her Twitter handle is still @KellyannePolls).
Finally, The New York Times reports that there are two other names that have been floated for chief of staff. The first is Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager who was fired in June 2016. This reportedly took place after a power struggle between Lewandowski and Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman. Donald Trump’s kids were very much in favor of firing Lewandowski, so Trump may face push back from them if he is seriously considering Lewandowski for the role. Also a possibility being reported by the Times is David Bossie, a conservative activist who served as Trump’s deputy campaign manager. Bossie has also worked for Citizens United, the organization that produces conservative films like Hillary: The Movie.