Pence’s aide out of race for White House chief of staff

Washington: In a setback to United States President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence’s aide Nick Ayers is out of the running to be the new White House chief of staff, an official said on Sunday.

Ayers, who was widely tipped to replace incumbent White House chief of staff John Kelly, will step down from his current post as Pence’s chief of staff at the end of the year and work for the pro-Trump super PAC group, The Hill reported.

Ayers declined the offer from Trump after he could not come to an agreement about the terms of his service, which the US President wanted to be a long-term job.

The official said that the 36-year-old Republican aide wanted an interim role, following which he would return to his family at his home state of Georgia to take care of his wife and three children.

Later, Ayers took to his Twitter handle, saying: “Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @VP, and my great colleagues for the honour to serve our Nation at The White House,” Ayers wrote. “I will be departing at the end of the year but will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause.”

Ending months of speculation, Trump on Saturday said that Kelly will step down from his post at the end of this year. The announcement assumes significance as the duo was reportedly at loggerheads over a number of issues.

With the Democrats set to take over the House of Representatives in January 2019 following the midterm elections last month, Trump is becoming seriously concerned over the same and has privately said that Kelly is not “politically savvy”.