Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

White House staff turnover is normal. President Trump’s chief of staff mess is most definitely not. 

The latest: Trump and John Kelly agreed the chief of staff would announce his resignation Monday — until Trump spilled the news on TV Saturday morning. Nick Ayers seemed set to replace him — until he begged out Sunday, refusing to commit to the 2020 deadline Trump had said Kelly would hit.

Now, Trump does not know what he will do, Jonathan Swan reports. 

  • Trump has asked confidants what they think about the idea of installing Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, according to three sources.
  • Trump has also mentioned three other candidates besides Meadows, according to a source with direct knowledge.
  • The New York Times said speculation centers on “Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin; Mr. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney; and the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer.”
  • “Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who as a onetime United States attorney could help Mr. Trump in an impeachment fight, was also being mentioned. And some Trump allies were pushing for David N. Bossie, the deputy campaign manager in 2016.”

Be smart: This is a bad way to head into a sliding economy, Democratic control of the House and Robert Mueller’s investigations. 

Go deeper: Swan's latest on the chief of staff search

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
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  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
2 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.