New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose meteoric rise and fall has become the stuff of political legend, sat down with Politico for an extended interview in which he discussed the public's flawed perception of him — both when he was king of the mountain, winning re-election by an impressive margin in a faithfully Democratic-leaning state, and now that he's the most unpopular governor in the U.S. One particularly interesting detail from the back-and-forth was Christie's explanation for being fired from President Trump's transition team.
Though he can't know for sure, Christie believes it has something to do with Jared Kushner.
After it became clear he wasn't a viable candidate during the 2016 presidential election, Christie threw everything he had behind Donald Trump, whom he believed would be the next Republican nominee. Though many believed Christie endorsed Trump in hopes of a position in the President's senior staff, Christie claims his primary intention was to improve Trump as a candidate and help him beat Hillary Clinton (the greater of two evils in Christie's mind). When Trump won the presidency, he put Christie in charge of the transition team. Two days later, however, Steve Bannon informed the New Jersey governor he was being let go.
Witnesses say the screaming match lasted for hours, with Christie demanding to know the cause of his termination.
Christie suspected Jared Kushner, whose father he had prosecuted and convicted as a U.S. Attorney.
Oh, I asked [Bannon]. He didn’t answer. But [based on] subsequent conversations I’ve had with the president, I just don’t believe this was the president’s decision.
The White House said their decision to let Christie go was a step towards "draining the swamp." Then-aid Jason Miller commented at the time:
Anybody seeing today's news about the appointment of Vice President-elect Mike Pence to run the Presidential Transition Team realizes that President-elect Donald J. Trump is serious about changing Washington whether the town likes it or not.
Without a trace of irony, Miller added:
This might ruffle the delicate sensitivities of the well-heeled two-martini lunch set, but President-elect Trump isn't fighting for them, he's fighting for the hard-working men and women outside the Beltway who don't care for insider bickering.
Other sources at the time of Christie's firing cited clashes between Christie's and Kushner's aides, though it's uncertain whether we'll ever know the full scope of what happened in the early days of the Trump administration. One thing is certain, however: Now that his time as governor is nearing an end, Chris Christie is feeling free to share all his true feelings. In his interview, he shares his perspective on everything from endorsing Trump to the Bridgegate scandal.
You can check out the full article here.
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