Chris Christie: There Is No One With More Influence Over Trump Than Jared Kushner

The former New Jersey governor also tells NPR that he has "great faith and confidence" in special counsel Robert Mueller and that Trump's team has made "a lot of really bad personnel choices."
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's new book, Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics details his history with New Jersey politics and thoughts on the Trump administration. Source: Elias Williams for NPR

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made headlines in early 2016 when he dropped out of the presidential race and subsequently became the first major Republican to endorse Donald Trump.

Soon after, he found himself leading then-candidate Trump's transition team. By the time Trump won the election in November, Christie says, he and about 140 other staff members had compiled some 30 binders filled with shortlists for various positions and strategies for legislative undertakings.

But days after the election, Christie was out — and so were his binders.

Now, Christie has written Let Me Finish, a memoir addressing his time with the Trump team, run as a presidential candidate, and Bridgegate — among other things.

NPR spoke with Christie about his new book.

The interview, below, has been edited for length and clarity and contains some excerpts that do not appear in the audio version.

It is hard to think of a campaign that continues to cast quite such a long shadow two years into a presidency — but questions about Russia continue to dog and define Trump's presidency. So start there. You said you were in Trump Tower all the time in 2016. Was there collusion?

Listen, I don't think there was — I never saw any evidence of it. ... But I could tell you that I wrote in the book I don't think the campaign was organized enough to collude. I saw it from a whole bunch of different angles.

I hardly think that they were organized enough to put together a Tom Clancy-type operation with Russia. Now, I could be proven wrong on that because, as I said,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
'The Righteous Gemstones' Takes Aim At Megachurch Millionaires
In the HBO comedy created by and starring Danny McBride, a powerful preacher and his adult children are very poor examples to their flock.
NPR2 min read
Shannon Bond Joins NPR's Business Desk
In a note to newsroom staff, Chief Business Editor Pallavi Gogoi announced the following staffing update: I'm delighted to announce that Shannon Bond is joining NPR as Technology Correspondent, based in Silicon Valley. Shannon currently covers techno
NPR4 min readPolitics
In Zimbabwe, An Economic Crisis With 175% Inflation Drives Discontent
Protests took place Friday. Power cuts can last up to 18 hours a day. About a third of Zimbabwe's population needs food aid, due to drought and the worsening economy, the U.N. says.