But his former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell may be the first senior former administration official who could actually follow that playbook — showing that the fast-moving revolving door of the Trump administration doesn’t work in just one direction.
Powell has emerged as the lead contender to replace Haley, according to three current and former White House officials familiar with the process. Trump said he is considering four other unnamed candidates, and it’s far from a done deal that Powell would return to the West Wing. But Powell, who the president once considered as a potential chief of staff to replace Reince Priebus, comes with a good rapport with the president and buy-in from some of the top officials in the administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“We’re looking at some people who are already with us,” Trump said Wednesday, noting that many people are interested in the job. But for Trump, elevating someone internally wouldn’t be as exciting as what Powell could offer him: the ineffable bonus of wooing her twice from a lucrative post at Goldman Sachs.