Chris Christie won’t be getting a West Wing office anytime soon, according to a source familiar with President Donald Trump’s views on the former New Jersey governor who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The source confirmed a report by POLITICO that Trump calls Christie after his appearances on ABC News but added that there is a widespread belief inside the White House that Christie was among the sources of a story that the president might be interested in hiring him. A close friend, Bill Palatucci, told the reporter that “one can never completely dismiss the idea” that Christie will wind up working for Trump.
“The reaction was strongly negative,” the official said. “If you’re relevant, you don’t run around saying ‘look how relevant I am.’”
Christie has retained a relatively high profile since leaving office in January. The worst kept secret in New Jersey is the frequency of his off-the-record calls to statehouse reporters seeking to spin his own legacy amidst criticism from his successor, Democrat Phil Murphy. Another source has said that Christie has been disappointed with the lack of offers from Washington-based law firms, despite an aggressive move to get hired by one.
The Trump source says that with the White House Christie is “viewed as an effective surrogate and no more.”
“There’s no evidence that the president wants to bring him back into the fold,” said the official, who mentioned several times that Christie was fired from his role as transition chairman after the election.
The story, the source said, came to the attention of the guy who holds the job Christie wants: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
“This guy (Christie) doesn’t understand what a story like this does to the chief,” the source said. “It’s difficult to have order in the White House when Chris is putting out this kind of stuff.”
What’s more, none of the anti-Kelly faction within the Trump White House are saying Christie would make a better pick.
“He’s got skill. He’s not an ineffective person, if he could just be a decent human being,” the source said. “He just can’t get out of his own way.”
The official suggested that if the former governor would “just focus on being a good commentator” he might find a way into Trump’s inner circle, suggesting that White House Chief of Staff is not a job you can campaign for.
“Loud Mouth Chris, he’s known for factionalization,” the source said. “He would be a bad fit, especially when we’re starting to make some progress.”
When he was governor, Christie despised people who openly campaigned for an appointment.
“He was the biggest hater of people campaigning for a job,” a New Jersey Republican leader told the New Jersey Globe. “If you were campaigning for a job, you were never going to get the job.”