Chris Christie won't be the next White House chief of staff
By Kathryn Watson
/ CBS News
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not be the next White House chief of staff. Christie was one of several contenders for the role, as CBS News had reported — but he issued a statement Friday announcing he has asked the president to "no longer" keep him in "any of his considerations for this post."
"It's an honor to have the president consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief of staff," Christie wrote. "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 for this post."
Christie served for a short time on Mr. Trump's transition team ahead of the president's transition, but was removed from that team — what Christie called a "big mistake." But he has kept in touch with the White House.
Christie is the third contender for the role to publicly drop out of the running. Mr. Trump's first pick, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Nick Ayers, said he would leave the White House and return to Georgia at the end of the year, after he and the president couldn't reach an agreement on how long he would commit to the role. And conservative House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows also publicly announced that he will remain in Congress, as the president wants him to do.
CBS News reported Thursday that Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is also in the running for the role. Mr. Trump said Thursday that five people were under consideration for the role.
Mr. Trump has pushed back against reporting and speculation that many don't want the job, tweeting earlier this week that many do.
"Fake News has it purposely wrong," the president tweeted Tuesday. "Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn't someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!"
Arden Farhi contributed to this report.
First published on December 14, 2018
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.