As I write this we are in day 8 of President Elect Trump’s plan for his administration. These transitions always look a little chaotic as the President Elect chooses his cabinet and senior advisors. Trial balloons are released and shot down, old friends and colleagues jockey for positions, and anonymous leaks to the press rocket up.
That said, this process appears unusually chaotic. There are several examples, but let me choose one: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. During the primary process he was one of the first ex-competitors to endorse Mr. Trump (February 26th).
Mr. Trump rewards loyalty and Mr. Christie’s background in law enforcement appeared to give him an advantage in running the Department of Justice as Attorney General.
A few days ago Mr. Christie was “purged” from the transition team with little explanation. Frankly, I originally thought Mr. Christie was seen as tainted because of his involvement in bridgegate and that now appears to be wrong.
There is good reason to believe that his sudden exit has more to do with something that happened in 2005. Mr. Trump’s son in law is Jared Kushner and has become one of Mr. Trump’s closest advisors.
Mr. Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner is a real estate developer. In 2005 he was convicted of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering and sentenced to two years in federal prison (he served one). The prosecutor? The United States Senator from the District of New Jersey, Chris Christie.
I guess it’s true that revenge is a dish best served cold.
I don’t make this point to say that Mr. Christie’s past has come back to haunt him, but to say that Mr. Trump’s son in law has harbored this grudge. In a well run campaign and transition, Mr. Christie would never have been seen as a serious candidate for Attorney General. His sudden fall from grace shows that the transition team has little temperament for the job ahead.