Christie blames Kushner for his firing from Trump transition
New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie says in a new interview that he suspected senior White House adviser Jared Kushner was behind his ouster from President Trump’s transition team.
In a wide-ranging Politico interview posted Thursday, Christie details a conversation with now-ousted White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who was the one who told Christie he was being fired from the transition team. In it, he says he asked Bannon directly whether Kushner was behind it.
“Oh, I asked,” Christie said. “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.”
He added that the president offered him a number of positions in the Trump administration, but that he turned the president down due to lack of interest.
“He’s offered me two different Cabinet positions and three other really senior positions in the administration, and I’ve turned them all down because they weren’t stuff I was interested in,” Christie said.
Trump’s team announced shortly after the election that Christie was being replaced by Vice President Pence on the transition team. At the time, sources said that the reason for Christie’s ouster was his aides’ tendency to clash with Kushner’s associates.
“The Christie people are from New Jersey, they act like they’re in charge, and Jared Kushner is like, ‘You’re not really in charge,’ ” one transition team source said last November.
At the time, Christie’s ouster was spun by the Trump team as a move to show Trump’s seriousness about “draining the swamp.”
“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,” then-Trump aide Jason Miller said at the time.
“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,” Miller added.