Trump Reportedly Considering Possible Replacement for Chief of Staff John Kelly

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 2: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with North Korean defectors in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC on Friday, Feb. 02, 2018. President Donald Trump talked to reporters and members of the media about the release of a secret memo on the F.B.I.’s role in the Russia inquiry. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Nearly a year after President Donald Trump picked General John Kelly to be his chief of staff, the president has once again started contemplating his possible replacements, sources familiar with the discussions tell ABC News.

Those conversations raise the prospect that he may make a change very soon, around Kelly’s one-year anniversary on the job in July.

The leading candidates to replace Kelly are Nick Ayers, current chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, and former congressman Mick Mulvaney, currently Director of the Office of Management and Budget, according to sources with knowledge of the search. Both men are known to have a positive personal rapport with Trump.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Kelly’s potential replacements.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told reporters traveling with the president on Air Force One that the Wall Street Journal story is “inaccurate” and that she spoke to Kelly and his imminent departure was “news to him.” Walters also said she spoke to the president who denied the story. “I spoke to the president who refuted this article. He said it is absolutely not true and that it is fake news,” she said.

A retired Marine Corps general, Kelly joined the Trump administration as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In July of 2017, Kelly became the White House Chief of Staff following the departure of Reince Priebus.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Jonathan Karl, Katherine Faulders, John Santucci and Meredith McGraw