Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump each phoned in 2018 to give assurances that they could work together after he met with President Trump about serving as chief of staff – despite his past role prosecuting Kushner’s father, Charles.
Christie met with Trump as the president was considering pushing out chief of staff John Kelly – one of a line of chiefs the president hire and then sour upon. Trump ultimately went through four of them.
Christie met with Trump in December 2018 to discuss the job, only to withdraw himself from consideration for what he said publicly were family reasons. (He said at the time that ‘now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment.’
According to his new book, Republican Rescue, Trump offered him the job. Among the reasons he turned it down was a bad reaction when someone leaked word of his meeting with the president. Trump would later admit it was he who put out the information, Christie writes, the Daily Beast reported after obtaining a copy of the book.
Former Donald Trump met with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and offered him the job of White House chief of staff in 2018, Christie writes. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner phoned to provide reassurances
Trump offered him the powerful position and gave him some time to think it over. But word of their meeting soon made it into the press.
‘I couldn’t help but wonder. There were only three people in that room at the White House. I knew I didn’t leak the story. It seemed unlikely to me that Melania did. Who was left? Did Trump really have someone leak that story even before I’d gotten off the train?’ Christie writes.
According to Christie, two key Trump White House advisors: daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, phoned to give assurances they were on board with him taking the job.
They may have found it necessary to assure him there was no bad blood that would get in the way of working together professionally. As a former US Attorney, Christie had helped send Kushner’s father, Charles, to federal prison for witness tampering and filing false tax returns.
Christie would later call it ‘one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I ever prosecuted.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner phoned Christie and his wife Mary Pat to let him know they could all work together, despite Christie having helped send Kushner’s father to prison
Trump (pictured with Christie and Rudy Giuliani in the background) cycled through four chiefs of staff
Charles Kushner, with Jared and brother Josh, pleaded guilty to witness tampering and filing false tax returns
Charles Kushner hired a prostitute to try to lure his son-in-law, William Schulder, at a time Kushner was being investigated over illegal campaign contributions and Schulder was a federal witness.
‘I mean If a guy hires a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, and videotapes it, and then sends the videotape to his sister to attempt to intimidate her from testifying before a grand jury, do I really need any more justification than that?,’ Christie told PBS in 2019.
But after he met with Trump, Christie says he got a call from Jared Kushner, who told him he was ‘fine’ with him coming on board.
Chris Christie’s new book, Republican Rescue, calls for saving the GOP from ‘conspiracy theorists’
‘I’ll be fully supportive of you,’ he said, according to Christie.
Then Ivanka called his wife, Mary Pat.
‘I know there have been problems between the governor and my husband’s family in the past. But you have my word, wife to wife, mother to mother, that I will make sure that nothing like that happens if the governor comes here,’ she told his wife, according to Chrisite.
He writes that Mary Pat was ‘taken aback’ by the call.
Christie says he decided to take himself out of consideration, in part due to the leak. The high-powered lobbying didn’t help.
‘By that point, I had pretty much decided there was no way I was going to take this job,’ Christie writes. ‘And the high-pressure campaign from the next generation, especially Ivanka’s call to Mary Pat, wasn’t about to convince me otherwise.
Instead, Christie would stay outside for the duration of the administration, and ultimately condemn Trump for having ‘lied’ to supporters about a stolen election, saying after Joe Biden’s inauguration ‘it’s shameful that they’re doing it.’