After originally being seen as a strong contender, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie removed himself from consideration for White House chief of staff, he said in a Friday statement.
Just hours ago several major news organizations were confidently reporting @ChrisChristie was the new front-runner for the @WhiteHouse chief of staff job. He’s now put out a statement saying he doesn’t want the position. pic.twitter.com/l4ggy9htUd
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 14, 2018
“It’s an honor to have the president consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief of staff,” Christie said, adding, “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 him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”
Christie reportedly met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office to discuss the chief of staff role Thursday, and many within the president’s orbit saw him as a strong candidate. Trump revealed Saturday that White House chief of staff John Kelly would depart from the position, igniting a firestorm of speculation as to who will take over.
Trump said Thursday he was interviewing “five people … really good ones, terrific people, mostly well-known, but terrific people.” (Related: HERE’S WHO’S IN THE MIX TO REPLACE JOHN KELLY)
Trump originally sought to replace Kelly with vice presidential chief of staff Nick Ayers. However, Ayers was unable to commit to the job until the end of the first presidential term, something Trump insisted on.
The president told Fox News Thursday what he wanted from a prospective chief of staff, saying, “I want somebody that’s strong, but I want somebody that thinks like I do. It’s my vision — it is my vision after all. At the same time, I’m open to ideas.”