President Donald Trump considered firing chief of staff John Kelly this month and not naming a successor, three sources familiar with his discussions told NBC News.
The president has talked with close associates about running the West Wing more like his business empire, with Trump as his own chief of staff, according to the sources.
In the scenario, which appears to have been tabled for now, a handful of top aides would report directly to him. He's pointed to the precedent of presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, the sources said.
Kelly, Trump's second chief of staff, is still in his role after intense speculation about whether he would go. But former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon discussed at a public Financial Times forum Thursday the notion of Trump going without a chief of staff.