Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has told associates he is unlikely to accept the job if it is offered before Mueller issues his report, according to two sources familiar with the ongoing conversations. And two other candidates approached by the White House about the position signaled they were not interested in the job.
As a result, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie has emerged as a strong contender, according to two former White House officials briefed on the ongoing discussions, one of whom predicted that “this is going to end up with Christie.” The president has said in recent days that he believes Christie, the first prominent Republican to back his presidential bid, has patiently waited his turn after being passed over for the job during the post-2016 election transition.
That said, candidates for top Trump administration jobs have learned that Trump’s whims are subject to sudden changes, thanks to anything from a bad-chemistry meeting to a snippet of critical cable TV commentary the president happens to catch. Other candidates are in the mix, including Solicitor General Noel Francisco. And several sources said that Trump is in no particular hurry to fill his top law enforcement position.