In a recent interview, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that he came close to succeeding General John Kelly as President Trump’s chief of staff.
Indeed Christie, who recently authored a book and is now promoting it, said that he interviewed for the position with the president in mid-December and that the interview went so well that President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, actually called Mary Pat Christie, the governor’s wife, to tell her how excited she was that her husband would be joining the administration. Her husband, Jared Kushner, also reportedly said he was excited over the impending appointment.
As he tells it, Christie eventually called the president and withdrew his name from consideration due to personal obligations.
Christie has not had complimentary things to say about Jared Kushner in interviews, pointing out that Christie had previously prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, for witness tampering, campaign finance violations and tax evasion. The prosecution resulted in a guilty plea by the elder Kushner.
In an appearance on FOX News’ “Watters’ World” with host Jesse Watters to promote his new book, “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics,” Christie recounted how differently the administration would be operating had he been named attorney general instead of Jeff Sessions.
“He (Trump) was my friend for 15 years at that point but also I campaigned against him,” Christie said. “I knew he was going to be the Republican nominee and my job, as I saw it, was to endorse him and to go in there and make him the best candidate he could be because we did not Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States.”
On rumors of disloyalty to Trump, Christie commented, “That’s Steve Bannon who’s just making stuff up. Typical Steve drama that was completely made up.”
Christie added that Bannon told him why he had been fired as head of the transition team. “He said it was the kid, referring to Jared Kushner. This goes back to, as I detail in the book, the time in 2004 when I prosecuted Jared’s father. Once you knew that your father had committed those crimes, that your father had pled guilty, not been found guilty, admitted to the crimes, what else was I supposed to do as a prosecutor? By throwing me out, the president’s still attempting to recover from that with a lot of empty desks, a lot of people who got picked for jobs — like Michael Flynn and Tom Price — and others who had no business being there.”
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