“People are threatened by Nick’s age and his reputation as this young political savant,” said one former White House official. “He has the endorsements of Jared [Kushner], Ivanka [Trump], and Pence, but not a lot of fans beyond that. That’s not to say the majority of the West Wing will empty out, but there are a few staffers who will leave because of him.”
As a result, it is unclear whether Trump’s offer still stands, although White House officials say that no clear alternative has emerged.
Ayers’ boosters say he would be a perfect antidote to the political challenges of the next two years, including House Democratic investigations and a coming 2020 election campaign.
“The problem with Kelly is you just can’t have the least the least political person in Washington holding the most political job in Washington. You need a bona fide Machiavellian killer. That is what the president needs by his side over the next two years,” said a second former White House official in describing Ayers.