President Trump believes that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has patiently waited his turn after being passed over for Attorney General in 2016.
The shadow of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation is complicating President Trump’s search for a new attorney general. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is unlikely to accept the job if it is offered before Mueller issues his report, Politico reports. Two other candidates approached by the White House about the position signaled they were not interested. As a result, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie has emerged as a strong contender. Trump has said he believes Christie, the first prominent Republican to back his presidential bid, has patiently waited his turn after being passed over for the job during the post-2016 election transition.
That said, candidates for top administration jobs have learned that Trump’s whims are subject to sudden changes, thanks to anything from a bad-chemistry meeting to a snippet of critical cable TV commentary the president happens to catch. Other candidates are in the mix, including Solicitor General Noel Francisco and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. A cabinet post for Christie would be a dramatic plot twist in his complicated, years-long relationship with the Trump family. Christie ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries before advising and representing his campaign. As a U.S. attorney in New Jersey, Christie led a 2004 criminal prosecution that landed Jared Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, behind bars for tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions — and earned him the enmity of Trump’s son-in-law. Christie was at the White House on Thursday for a long-scheduled meeting on criminal justice reform, an issue both he and Kushner support.