Donald Trump has announced that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will serve as chairman of his transition team, identifying personnel who would become part of a Trump White House. Christie will be working closely with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose father he sent to prison.
Just months ago, Trump accused Christie of having committed a federal crime in covering up the Bridgegate scandal. Now, NBC News reports, Christie will bring “substance” and “seriousness” to the Trump campaign:
Sources familiar with the planning say the transition team appointment shows “the role the governor is playing as the serious person around Trump who is trying to provide some discipline” to his growing organization.
Christie also continues to act as “a conduit between the establishment and Trump” based on Christie’s relationships with Republican elected officials across the country, sources said.
The New York Times reported last week that Kushner—Trump’s son-in-law and a real estate heir in his own right—would be a part of the very forward-looking transition team. (President Obama didn’t announce his Transition Team Chariman until the day after he won the 2008 election.) In 2005, as U.S. Attorney for the state of New Jersey, Christie successfully prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles, for “crimes of greed, power, and excess.”
Asked why the Trump campaign was directing press inquiries about the transition committee to the governor’s office, a spokeswoman for Christie told Gawker, “We’re trying to figure that out ourselves.”