New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was one of the first Republican leaders to offer their full support to now-President-elect Donald Trump after Christie failed in his own efforts to become the Republican nominee for president. Christie is currently in charge of Trump’s transition team, and according to the Washington Post, the New Jersey Governor is open to taking a spot in Trump’s cabinet. However, at this point, nothing is certain, and there is no guarantee that Christie will end up having a role in Trump’s administration once he takes office in January.
Politico recaps an interview Christie had with NBC’s Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on Thursday in which he says that he and Trump have not discussed a potential role in the new administration.
“We have not talked about anything,” Christie said when the topic was raised. “The president-elect was absolutely adamant about not discussing the transition before he was elected.”
Guthrie asked the governor if Trump waited to discuss a potential cabinet position with Christie because he didn’t want to jinx his chances in the election, but Christie responded by saying that Trump was just focused on winning the election before worrying about anything else.
Lauer attempted to ask Christie about specific positions within the administration he may be interested in taking, including the White House chief of staff and the U.S. attorney general. But Christie declined to give any kind of verbal response. Guthrie then described Christie’s silent response as a “pregnant pause.”
“The answer is I am not committed to doing anything in a new administration, or not,” Christie said when he finally broke his silence. “The bottom line is that I have a job to do to help get the administration ready. If there’s some role for me that I want to do and that the president-elect wants me to do, you know, we’ve known each other for 14 years, we’ll talk about it.”
Based on his loyalty to Trump during much of the campaign, as well as his political background, most would assume Christie would be given a role in the administration, with attorney general and Homeland Security secretary being two possible positions.
Of course, Christie’s connection to the Bridgegate scandal could have an impact on him being given a meaningful position in the new administration. Christie did address the Bridgegate scandal on Thursday, specifically with regard to last week’s verdict that saw three people, all of whom are former political allies of Christie, convicted of wrongdoing.
“What happened last week with the verdict was they confirmed what I knew and did in January of 2014, which was back there I said, after 24 hours, it’s my view that three people are responsible for what happened there. Those three people, after three years of investigation and the trial — the same three people I fired in January of ’14 — were the three people held responsible by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and that jury.”
Of course, Christie only fired one of the three, former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly. The two other people involved — Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and David Wildstein, a subordinate of Baroni — both resigned.
Nevertheless, much of the testimony during the trial did not paint Christie in a positive light. There was also testimony that contradicted things said by Christie at the time of the incident. With that testimony coming out so close to the election, it could make it difficult for Christie to be given a high-level job in Trump’s administration. It also doesn’t help that one of the jurors referred to Christie after the trial as a “master puppeteer,” according to Bloomberg.
Clearly, the Bridgegate incident still hangs over Christie’s head and continues to have an impact on his political career, as it likely forced him out of the Republican presidential primary race before he would have liked. On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine someone who has displayed such loyalty to Trump not being rewarded with a position in the new administration. However, Christie being left out of Trump’s cabinet because of the fallout of Bridgegate appears to be a distinct possibility.
[Featured Image by John Moore/Getty Images]