Donald Trumppassed over Chris Christie as his vice presidential running mate then demotedthe New Jersey governor ashis transition chairman. But he evidently still holds Christie in high regard. Sources have told NJ.com that that the next commander-in-chief offered Christie several positions in his cabinet.
Christie turned them all down.
The second-term governor has been rumored to be under consideration as Trump’s attorney general and White House chief of staff — which Reince Priebus has since filled.
According to sources close to Trump’s transition team, Christie declined to accept the position of secretary of Homeland Security, secretary of Veterans Affairs or U.S. ambassador to Italy. He was never offered the attorney general post.
Christie was long thought to have a good shot at a high-level position in a Trump administration, ever since he endorsed then-candidate Trump in February, shortly after suspending his own campaign for the presidency.
But one week after two of the governor’s close aides — Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly and Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni — were convicted on all charges stemming from the Bridgegate scandal, Christie was replaced as chairman of Trump’s transition team by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Last December, Trump said in a speech that Christie “totally knew about” the closing of the George Washington Bridge over the course of three days in September 2013 during rush hour, adding there’s a “less than 1 percent chance” Christie didn’t know about the decision to close lanes.
After Christie was ousted as head of Trump’s transition team, he said he was “proud to have run the pre-election phase of the transition team along with a thoroughly professional and dedicated team of people.” He added, “I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to continue to help lead in this next phase and thank all of the pre-election leadership team for the outstanding work they have done.”
Now, it appears Christie will finish out his second and final term, which ends in January 2018.
“For some reason, people think I’m equivocal about this,” the governor said at the Statehouse on Nov. 29. “And I’m not. I’m completing my term.”