Trump Says 5 in Talks for Chief of Staff Job

John Kelly, left, talks with John Bolton in the Oval Office on Oct. 10. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

WASHINGTON (CN) – The search for a new White House chief of staff is down to five people, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

Trump told reporters during a meeting at the White House with governors-elect that he is interviewing candidates, whom he referred to as “really good” and “terrific people,” according to a White House pool report.

Chief of Staff John Kelly is set to leave the job by the end of the year, though White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said earlier this week he will stay on until at least Jan. 2. Trump announced Kelly’s departure over the weekend, confirming months of rumors regarding the former Homeland Security secretary.

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, was expected to take Kelly’s spot, but turned down the job over the weekend and announced he would be leaving the White House at the end of the year himself.

Since then, a host of other names have come out as a potential Kelly replacement, including Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. Politico reported on Wednesday, however, that Meadows was out of the running for the position.

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