After a meatloaf lunch at the White House last Tuesday, President Donald Trump made New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie an intriguing offer: Would he like to be secretary of labor?
Christie said no, according to four people close to Trump who were briefed on the conversation, which was just the latest in a series of nudges Trump has given Christie about joining him in Washington. Christie has told Trump he is not interested and instead plans to join the private sector after he leaves Trenton next year, two people close to Trump said.
Christie’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment. The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The previously unreported conversation is particularly notable because it happened during a whirlwind 48 hours in which Trump’s first nominee, Andrew Puzder, lost Senate support, withdrew his nomination and was replaced by former U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta — and all the while Christie’s name never publicly popped up. Acosta was picked shortly after Puzder officially dropped out and wasn’t at the 77-minute news conference where his nomination was announced. Trump didn’t travel to Florida, where Acosta lives, to interview him. Acosta referred a request for comment to the White House.