Nick Ayers is Trump's next chief of staff — unless his enemies can stop him

“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.