Christie: You won't believe how Jared submarined me

Oh, sure we would! Chris Christie has a new tell-all book coming out soon about his experiences as an almost-insider to the Donald Trump campaign and transition. Christie’s trajectory got cut short by Jared Kushner, whom the former governor accuses of a political “hit job” to oust him from the Trump inner circle. Christie relies on corroboration from Steve Bannon, who only managed to last a little bit longer:

Chris Christie, who was ousted as chairman of Donald Trump’s White House transition team in 2016, has written a blistering attack on Jared Kushner, whom he accuses of having carried out a political “hit job” on him as an act of revenge for prosecuting his father, Charles Kushner, a decade ago.

In his soon to be published book, Let Me Finish, Christie unleashes both barrels on Trump’s son-in-law, who remains a senior White House adviser with responsibilities for Middle Eastern peace, sentencing reform and “American Innovation”.

Christie blames this key player in the president’s inner circle for his ignominious dismissal shortly after Trump’s election victory in November 2016. Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, writes that Kushner’s role in his sacking was confirmed to him by Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief, in real time. …

“Steve Bannon … made clear to me that one person and one person only was responsible for the faceless execution that Steve was now attempting to carry out. Jared Kushner, still apparently seething over events that had occurred a decade ago.”

Isn’t it funny how politics work? Toss someone’s dad in prison and be amazed when they still resent it a decade later. The “events” that Christie frames as old news involved putting Jared’s father Charles in prison for fourteen months over a bizarre extortion plot. Kushner père set up his brother-in-law with a hooker, and then videotaped the encounter in order to keep them quiet about fraud Charles had been committing. That spectacularly backfired on Charles, who got a charge of witness tampering added to tax evasion and campaign-finance violations.

If you think this sounds as though Christie did his job, you’d be correct. And if you think that Christie would be out of his mind to put himself in position where the Kushners could get some payback … you’d also be correct. Just what did Christie expect — that Kushner would let bygones be bygones? That’s not how the Kushners operate, and for that matter, it’s not how the Trumps operate either.

The timing of this broadside is interesting, too. Reportedly Christie topped Donald Trump’s list of candidates to replace John Kelly as chief of staff just a month ago. By that time, the book had to have been in production for months. Small wonder that Christie immediately and publicly declined any interest in the job. What was he going to do — give the advance back in order to sit around and wait for the next Kushner axe stroke to take place a few weeks after arriving in the White House? Or better yet, let the book come out while Christie sat outside the Oval Office? Now that would have been fun, mind you, but …

Given that this episode with the Kushners is both well-known and widely considered to be the obstacle that blocked Christie from gaining access, the only real surprise will be in hearing Christie’s side of it. The Guardian also reports from its advance look at the memoir that Christie shreds Jeff Sessions, who got the other job Christie coveted, and Michael Flynn, but leaves Trump alone — mostly. Christie criticizes the decision to fire James Comey, which he lays on Jared for giving Trump “poor advice.” It doesn’t sound like there will be too many surprising revelations, which isn’t itself much of a surprise with as little access as Christie ended up having to the inner circle.