Trump says he hasn't talked to Christie about attorney general job

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that he had not talked to former Gov. Chris Christie about succeeding Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

“I like” Christie but has not discussed the position with him, Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for Paris, according to pool reports.

The position opened up after Trump pushed Sessions out a day after midterm elections that saw Republicans lose control of the U.S. House, as well as several governorships in 2020 battleground states.

Christie was an early supporter of Trump after his own presidential campaign crashed and burned after the New Hampshire primary. He chaired Trump’s transition team but was pushed out after Trump won the election in November 2016. 

Christie later chaired the president’s commission on the opioid crisis. He was in the audience when Trump last month signed sweeping legislation to address the issue.

He long has expressed interest in the attorney general’s position, even saying in February 2017 that he likely would have resigned the governorship if Trump had named him the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

Christie has said that Trump had been “ill-served” by some top advisers. He also has criticized special prosecutors, calling them “generally a bad idea” because they go off on tangents.

Trump long had been critical of Sessions, who recused himself from an investigation into possible Russian collusion with the president’s campaign. During his confirmation hearings, Sessions did not tell senators about his own contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

A special counsel, Robert Mueller, was named to handle the investigation. What the president has described as a “witch hunt” already has obtained indictments of more than 30 people, including Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and three other Trump campaign veterans, according to Vox.

Matt Arco may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Facebook.

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