Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said Friday that he has informed President Trump he would not accept the position of White House chief of staff if it were offered to him, the New York Times reported Friday.
“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 provided to the Times. “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.”
Christie met with Trump Thursday night to discuss the position. The president reportedly preferred Christie over the other remaining contenders due to his legal experience and messaging savvy.
“He’s tough; he’s an attorney; he’s politically savvy, and one of Trump’s early supporters,” a source “familiar with the president’s thinking” told Axios.
Trump now is reportedly considering former deputy campaign manager David Bossie, acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, or son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner to replace John Kelly, who will depart before the end of the year.
Christie, who briefly led Trump’s transition team and the administration’s opioid-crisis commission, still regularly defends the president on cable news.