President Donald Trump said on Friday that he had not spoken with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie about potential candidates to become attorney general behind the sacking of Jeff Sessions from the highest position in the Justice Department.
The former Governor of New Jersey, who was among Trump's early supporters after dropping his own 2016 presidential bid himself, was among the names that had been floated as a possible replacement Session. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and two other candidates were in the process but turned around the post, leaving Christie, a former prosecutor reportedly initially considered to fill the position, as the leading candidate.
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Although the president said he had not spoken to Christie about the position, which needs to be confirmed by the Senate, Trump said he liked his former governor and was his "friend".
"I didn't see Chris Christie yesterday, I heard he was at the White House," Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for Paris. "I like Chris Christie, but I haven't talked to him about it."
Christie was seen at the White House on Thursday for a meeting on criminal justice. The president openly debated Christie at the start of 2016 in the Republican Party, but the former governor became close to Trump's inner circle after he won a solid contest. Christie is the first prominent Republican to support President Trump's offer after he resigned from the race, Trump's actions say it is proof he has "good taste."
The former governor also led Trump's transition team ahead of the 2016 presidential election but was removed from the role within days of the president's victory.
The term of office at the Justice Department is marked most prominently by criticism thrown at him by Trump, who views the attorney general's appointment from all investigations related to the 2016 election as treason.
Trump's choice – Matthew Whitaker, Session chief of staff – to act as attorney general has also called for calls for discussion, with some – especially Democrats, who will have a majority at the House of Representatives next year – citing comments made by Whitaker. the legitimacy of a special lawyer investigation and claim Robert Mueller has exceeded its limits.