Chris Christie is opening up about his eight years in office and his failed presidential bid as he prepares to hand over over the keys to the governor’s mansion to his replacement.
A long exit interview with Politico that came out on Friday charts Christie’s rise and fall in Republican politics, including the Bridgegate scandal, and rips the curtain off of several incidents involving sitting president Donald Trump.
Trump never dispatched Christie to get McDonalds for him, the profile revealed. And he didn’t send the New Jersey governor home last February from the campaign trail on a separate plane, following his endorsement, as a ‘f***ing punishment.’
Chris Christie is opening up about his eight years in office and his failed presidential bid as he prepares to hand over over the keys to the governor’s mansion to his replacement. In an exit interview, he ripped the curtain off several incidents involving the sitting president
In fact, Christie says Trump offered him a handful of jobs in the administration – despite having him fired as head of the transition – and he turned them down.
Christie, who talks to Trump a couple times a week, or so he says, remains close with the president. He believes that it wasn’t Trump’s idea to have him booted from the transition team, although he won’t say who, if not the president engineered his ousting.
‘Oh, I asked,’ Christie told Politico, recalling a heated conversation he had with Steve Bannon over the dismissal. ‘He didn’t answer. But [based on] subsequent conversations I’ve had with the president, I just don’t believe this was the president’s decision.’
The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is said to have undermined Christie, the New Jersey prosecutor who put away his father. His involvement in the coup has never been confirmed.
But Christie says his own personal ties ran deep enough with the president that Trump offered ‘me two different Cabinet positions and three other really senior positions in the administration.
‘And I’ve turned them all down because they weren’t stuff I was interested in,’ he explained.
Christie says his own personal ties ran deep enough with the president that Trump offered ‘me two different Cabinet positions and three other really senior positions in the administration. He’s seen here at the White House in March
An incident in the primary when Trump told Christie to ‘get on the plane and go home’ was also miscast, Christie said.
‘People were acting like it was a f***ing punishment. The guy gave me his smaller plane and said, “Leave early so you don’t have to wait for me, because you’ve been so great to me the last two days doing this for two days.’”And then a**hole reporters write that he was like, “Get Chris off the stage,” ‘ the New Jersey governor said. ‘That’s the stuff that drives you crazy.’
A rumor that Trump sent Christie to McDonalds was also wrong, the profile revealed.
Sam Nunberg, one a top aide to Trump, told the article’s author that he made the whole thing up.
‘The sad reality is that it was believable,’ said.
Christie also spoke about ‘Bridgeate’ – the political scandal that derailed his second term in office and his 2016 presidential bid.
‘I was on trial,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t allowed to be there, I wasn’t allowed to respond, but the case was tried against me, not against the people who actually were sitting with the courtroom—with absolutely no evidence I had any involvement.’
He told Politico, ‘I don’t even think the true story has ever been told about why it was done.
‘I don’t buy the fact and I’ve never bought the fact that this was done to penalize the mayor of Fort Lee,’ he said, repeating a common claim that his aides shut down two traffic lanes leading into the George Washington Bridge to hamstring the city’s Democratic governor.
White House adviser Ivanka Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, right, speak with Christie in New Jersey on Monday
Two months later, before the lane closures became a national scandal, Christie was reelected with 61 percent of the vote in New Jersey to a second term.
‘No one can ever take that away from me, and whatever is happening now doesn’t make that any less real,’ he said of the exuberance he felt going into the 2013 election. ‘
What I really thought was, like, “Let the good times roll.” It wasn’t even that good things were coming. They were all happening, and I didn’t expect them to stop. But you never do,’ he said.
Christie hasn’t said what he plans to do when he leaves office – but it won’t be a job in the Trump administration, he says. The Republican politician who dropped out of last year’s race after the second contest has also ruled out another bid for president.