Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump fills two more posts; What's left for Christie?

Governor Christie may still be in contention for a job in Donald Trump’s White House, though he will not become chief of staff, one of several positions he has been rumored to be in contention for as the Republican president-elect fills leadership positions in his administration ahead of Inauguration Day.

The Record's Dustin Racioppi reports:

Trump announced that Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, would be his chief of staff on Sunday and made Stephen K. Bannon, chairman of the alt-right media outlet Breit­bart News, his chief strategist and senior counselor. 

Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s campaign, and Priebus will work as “equal partners,” Trump said, “to transform the federal government, making it much more efficient, effective and productive.”

The announcement fills in two players in the parlor game that began in earnest after Trump’s stunning defeat of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But it is likely to fuel further speculation about the future of Christie, who became one of Trump’s most vocal supporters 16 days after dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination for president in February. In recent weeks, though, Christie has had a diminished role with the campaign.

Christie and two top allies from New Jersey, Bill Palatucci and former chief of staff Rich Bagger, were demoted Friday in Trump’s White House transition effort. Christie had served as transition chairman since May but was named a vice chairman. Palatucci, who had been the transition’s general counsel, and Bagger, the executive director, were named advisers.

Christie’s name had been floated as a possible choice for chief of staff or attorney general, but he has said as recently as last week that he hadn’t discussed a future with Trump in his administration and hadn’t committed to anything. 

He has a little more than a year left on his second term as governor and cannot run for a third consecutive term. He has said he intends to finish his term as governor and retreat to private life but has also left open the possibility of accepting a position should he be offered one by Trump.

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