U.S.

Mark Meadows Says He's 'Interested' In Replacing John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff, Says Serving in Any Capacity is a 'Distinct Honor'

As the list of possible candidates to replace John Kelly as the White House chief of staff seems to narrow, one potential replacement seems to have his sights set on the job.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows didn't outright say he wanted the job today on Capitol Hill, but that hasn't stopped others for campaigning for Meadows to get it.

"I think he’d be great. Mark understands how Capitol Hill works. He’s a smart guy. This decision is between the president and Mark, but I think he’d do an outstanding job," Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan told The Hill.

In The Hill's report, sources close to Meadows stated that he had asked them to lobby for him to get the job.

However, Meadows spokesman Ben Williamson disputed the claim, telling The Hill: "Sources aren't accurate. He has not been campaigning for the job."

When contacted Monday on Capitol Hill, Meadows told Newsweek he was interested in the job, adding that he would support whatever the president decides to do.

"I am interested and willing to support the president and moving forward his agenda," Meadows said.

However, Meadows said that there has been no contact with Trump about the job.

"We've got this cart way down the trail. There's been no offer and no conversations (with Trump). Until there are, I'm going to refrain from hypothesizing on what might or might not happen."

According to The Hill, Trump and Meadows have developed a close relationship that ties back to the 2016 presidential campaign when Trump held several rallies in North Carolina, the state that Meadows represents in Congress. 

Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Hill that Trump and Meadows talk almost every day on a range of topics.

Multiple reports have indicated that Trump wants someone to carry the chief of staff position through 2020, which is one of the reasons that the frontrunner for the job, Nick Ayers, declined to take Trump's offer to become chief of staff. 

Sources told The Hill that they believe it is in Trump's best interest to find someone with whom he has a friendship to fill the post.

"This is someone you’re going to be with nonstop, seven days a week. There has to be some kind of personal relationship there to backstop the professional relationship,” one source said.

Other candidates on the list include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, both who have indicated they are happy in their current jobs. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has also stated he is uninterested in becoming Trump's chief of staff.

Another name being considered, Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, has not commented about the position.

Trump had reportedly been counting on Ayers to take the position and when the 36-year-old declined the post, the search went back to square one. According to sources who spoke with The Hill, there is no favorite among the names being considered.

As for Meadows, the possibility of serving would be a privilege.

"When you serve, whether it's here in the House or in the White House or anywhere else, it's a distinct honor and privilege and so that's about the extent of it," Meadows told Newsweek.

Ramsey Touchberry contributed to this report from Washington D.C.