Donald Trump has spoken with former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about replacing chief of staff John Kelly, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz reports.
There are “growing whispers” that the job would go to Lewandowski, who was charged with battery during the campaign after he allegedly grabbed Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by the arm to prevent her from asking Trump a question.
Authorities later dropped the charges against him, but not before Trump unceremoniously fired him from the campaign.
“I can report, based on my sources, that the president and his first campaign manager have discussed that possibility,” Kurtz wrote on Thursday. “Lewandowski has said he would accept a White House post if Trump calls him off the bench.”
Kurtz reports that Trump “is increasingly focused on the midterms” and believes “Lewandowski can be a valuable asset” to his team as they campaign against Democrats for control of the House of Representatives.
“The signs are unmistakable that Lewandowski, now a consultant, TV surrogate and chief strategist for America First Policies, is back in the inner circle,” Kurtz wrote noting the pair “speak regularly on the phone.”
According to Kurtz, tapping Lewandowski to lead would have serious repercussions throughout the White House. “At least half the staff would resign if he were tapped as chief of staff,” Kurtz said.
Kurtz also bolstered reporting about tensions between Kelly and Trump, despite efforts by the chief of staff to dismiss reports he called the president an “idiot.”
“Knowledgeable sources say that Trump's relations with Kelly are indeed strained, that they sometimes fight like brothers, but that neither one is ready to dissolve the partnership and no change is imminent,” Kurtz wrote.