Christie says he doesn’t want to be Trump’s chief of staff

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Friday that he doesn’t want to be Donald Trump’s next chief of staff, leaving the president with a dwindling list of candidates and underscoring the chaos of the search for the top West Wing aide.

Christie, an early Trump supporter who led the White House transition effort before being ousted, made the announcement just a day after he met with the president to discuss possibly taking the role. Christie’s firm statement also came shortly after reports emerged that he was the front-runner for the job, showing how quickly contenders’ odds can rise and fall.

“It’s an honor to have the President consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief-of-staff,” Christie wrote in a statement. “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 of this post.”

Christie has had a tumultuous relationship with Trump and his family — even though he and the president have been friends for over 15 years. Christie tangled with Trump on the campaign trail before dropping out of the 2016 presidential race, and he has long had tension with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner for helping put Kushner’s father in prison more than a decade ago when he was a U.S. attorney.

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