Trump and his top aides were most concerned about two issues, according to nearly a dozen people briefed on the process: Christie’s mismanagement of the transition, and the lingering political fallout of the Bridgegate scandal.
In their phone call, which was relayed by three sources, Trump expressed his worry about the recent conviction of two of the governor’s former top aides, who had accused him of knowing more about the shutdown of the George Washington Bridge than he let on. Was more damaging information to come, Trump wondered?…
In the days following the election, Trump expressed deep frustration about how Christie was handling the transition. In particular, he vented about how the governor had loaded up the team with lobbyists, the very class of people Trump had campaigned against, with his calls to “drain the swamp” in Washington. The president-elect also noticed that Christie had stocked his team with old New Jersey friends and allies.
There were other issues. Once the dust settled from their surprise win, the Trump team noticed that Christie had done little to vet potential administration picks or to dig into potential conflicts of interests. With Democrats eager to pounce on any early mistake, it was an oversight they simply couldn’t afford.