UPDATE – Chris Christie has reportedly taken himself out of the running:
And again deleting clarifying earlier post, right statement this time – Christie was not offered the job, took himself out of running. pic.twitter.com/hIRUyIcHwh
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 14, 2018
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in the running to be President Trump’s new chief of staff. Likewise, Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and current senior advisor, is also in the running for the position.
Chief of Staff Chris Christie?
Last night, Christie, whom Trump bested in the crowded 2016 Republican primary contest, met with the President to discuss the possibility to taking the position. Jonathan Swan of Axios reports:
President Trump met with Chris Christie on Thursday evening and considers him a top contender to replace John Kelly as chief of staff, according to a source familiar with the president’s thinking.“He’s tough; he’s an attorney; he’s politically-savvy, and one of Trump’s early supporters.”
NEW: President Trump met with Chris Christie on Thursday evening to discuss the chief of staff job https://t.co/23jLozcSeX
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) December 14, 2018
Trump is reportedly serious about Christie and isn’t yanking his chain like he did newly-elected senator Mitt Romney, who was interested in becoming secretary of state. (RELATED: Romney’s Refusal To Apologize To Trump Cost Him The Secretary Of State Role.)
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Trump has also been a close ally of Christie’s in recent years, and was rumored to be a candidate for several possible offices within the Administration, including attorney general.
The Kushner factor
There’s one main obstacle in Christie’s way to becoming Trump’s point man in the Oval Office: Jared Kushner. The President’s son-in-law is also reportedly in the running to replace John Kelly, the four-star general and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary who currently holds the role. (RELATED: John Kelly Expected to Resign – No Longer Speaking to President Trump.)
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) December 13, 2018
Not only is Kushner vying with Christie for the coveted position, he also has a personal vendetta against Christie. As a U.S. attorney, Christie actually put Kushner’s father in prison. The chances that Kushner forgot such a thing are likely somewhere between zero and zero.
The struggle to find a new chief
The search for a new White House chief of staff is rumored to be harder than Trump thought, as some candidates who were once considered leading choices have bowed out of consideration, specifically Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Nick Ayers. (RELATED: Ayers Declines Chief of Staff Job, Trump Reportedly Considering Mark Meadows.)
One thing’s certain: a president like Trump needs someone who understands him if they’re going to have any chance of coordinating White House activity. Both Kushner and Christie seem like good fits for the role, with the latter’s domineering personality being a big asset in what can only be a chaotic environment.
The choice, as ever, remains with Trump.
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