The former guv almost became Trump’s third chief of staff. But a combo of aggressive Javanka behavior and Trump’s loose lips led to Christie turning down the gig, he writes.
When Chris Christie withdrew from consideration to be Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff in 2018, multiple outlets reported it was for family considerations and that the ex-governor was not officially offered the gig.
But that may not be the full story. In his new book, Republican Rescue, due out next week from Threshold Editions and obtained by The Daily Beast, Christie claims that he was, indeed, offered the powerful position—and that he turned it down at least in part because of Trump’s big mouth.
Christie recounts how on Dec. 13, 2018, shortly before Trump fired his doomed chief of staff John Kelly, the former New Jersey governor took an Acela train to D.C. to meet with the president. Along the way, Christie consulted via phone with former Reagan and Bush chief of staff James A. Baker III, who told the one-time presidential aspirant that if he were to take the job under Trump—amid a first term built on unending chaos—he would be “the greatest American patriot since Paul Revere.”
The meeting, Christie recalls, featured Trump aggressively selling the job and erupting when the ex-governor demanded he would have the right to decide if and when a chief of staff does media appearances. “No, no, no, no, no,” the president allegedly shot back. “I control those.”