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OMB lawyer Jim Carroll emerges as likely deputy White House chief of staff

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is eyeing senior administration lawyer Jim Carroll to take over as his principal deputy, according to senior administration officials, as Kelly continues to consolidate power in the West Wing.

Carroll, currently the general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget, would succeed Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security, a Kelly ally who is awaiting Senate confirmation.

A White House official confirmed that Carroll will be joining the White House staff in a senior role but declined to name the position and said the White House was not prepared to make any personnel announcements Friday.

Two people close to the White House said that the selection of Nielsen’s successor had been finalized. They and White House aides spoke on the condition of anonymity to more freely discuss personnel matters.

Carroll, whose expected new role was first reported by ABC News, worked in the White House Counsel’s Office before taking on his post at OMB. Before that, he held several positions with Ford Motor Co., including Washington counsel.

Carroll’s expected arrival in the West Wing comes amid continued speculation that another deputy chief of staff, Rick Dearborn, will soon be leaving for another administration position.

Dearborn, a former top Senate aide to now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has clashed with Kelly and seen his portfolio diminished in recent months. A White House official said there are several possible departments Dearborn could join.

Robert Costa and Philip Rucker contributed to this report.

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