Chris Christie declines White House chief of staff role

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) declined the White House chief of staff role on Friday, making him the latest high-profile candidate who's no longer in the running for the influential post.

Christie and President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE reportedly met Thursday evening to discuss the role of replacing current chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, who will be departing by the end of the year.

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“It’s an honor to have the President consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief-of-staff,” Christie wrote in a statement shared by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times on Friday. “However, I’ve told the President that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked not to be considered for this post.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The effort to name Kelly's replacement suffered a setback earlier this week when Trump's initial top pick for the job — Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Pence — turned down the offer.

A few days later, Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsEx-Ukraine ambassador arrives to give testimony GOP seeks to gain more control of impeachment narrative Conservative lawmakers demand Schiff's recusal from Trump impeachment inquiry MORE (R-N.C.), the outgoing chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, was out of the running after having a discussion with Trump, who told him that he's needed in Congress to help defend the administration, according to a White House official.

Trump said Thursday that he was down to five finalists for the position, adding that the candidates were “mostly well known” and “terrific people.” On Friday evening, hours after Christie ruled out serving in the position, Trump named White House budget chief Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyState Dept. official told to 'lay low' after voicing concerns about Giuliani: Dem lawmaker Democrats see John Bolton as potential star witness The Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy MORE as his acting chief of staff.

"I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration," Trump wrote on Twitter.

Mulvaney is slated to take over at least temporarily as Trump's third chief of staff in less than two years. Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Sunday shows - White House stresses Trump's determination in China trade fight as GOP challenger emerges Priebus: Left's 'wacko ideas' are opportunity for Republicans in 2020 MORE left the post in the summer of 2017.

Trump announced last Saturday that Kelly, who was picked for the post in July 2017, would be leaving the White House by the end of the year.

Former Trump campaign adviser David Bossie, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryState Dept. official told to 'lay low' after voicing concerns about Giuliani: Dem lawmaker White House, Pentagon, Giuliani reject House subpoenas The Memo: Drip, drip of revelations damages Trump MORE are said to among those under consideration, according to multiple news reports.

Bossie and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who recently co-authored a book, were slated to meet with Trump at the White House on Friday.

Christie was one of Trump’s opponents during the GOP presidential primary in 2016. He later endorsed Trump after dropping out.

He then served as an adviser during the campaign and headed up the transition team.

Updated at 5:43 p.m.