NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly has interview the former governor of New Jersey, and former GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie about his new book, Let Me Finish, his time in the Trump administration, and his future. His words about Jared Kushner’s influence in the White House were very interesting. Kelly writes (abridged):
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made headlines in early 2016 when he dropped out of the presidential race and subsequently became the first major Republican to endorse Donald Trump.
Soon after, he found himself leading then-candidate Trump’s transition team. By the time Trump won the election in November, Christie says, he and about 140 other staff members had compiled some 30 binders filled with shortlists for various positions and strategies for legislative undertakings.
Now, Christie has written Let Me Finish, a memoir addressing his time with the Trump team, run as a presidential candidate.
NPR spoke with Christie about his new book.
The interview, below, has been edited for length and clarity and contains some excerpts that do not appear in the audio version.
There’s a long history between you and the family of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law — history going back to your time as a prosecutor in New Jersey. You prosecuted the case against Jared Kushner’s dad for tax evasion and witness tampering, among other charges. Charles Kushner was convicted.
There’s an entire chapter called “Jared’s Meltdown.”
After you were fired, you were eventually offered all kinds of positions in the Trump administration
Is it true that he offered you White House chief of staff just recently when John Kelly left?
He never offered me White House chief of staff
Do you still talk to the president? What kind of advice you give him?
All the time.
There have been reports of late that Jared Kushner is basically kind of de facto operating as White House chief of staff. Do you have any insight into whether that’s true?
I don’t know if it’s true. But let me say this: There is simply no one more influential in the White House on the president than Jared Kushner. He’s not the only person who he listens to, but I don’t think anyone has more influence than Jared has.
Read more here.