UPDATE: Christie doesn’t want to be Trump’s chief of staff
WASHINGTON —Former Gov. Chris Christie has taken himself off the list to be President Donald Trump's next chief of staff.
President Donald Trump met in the Oval Office on Thursday with Chris Christie about the chief of staff job on Thursday, a source "familiar with the president's thinking" told the news site Axios. Christie, who has often boasted of his friendship with Trump, is considered a leading candidate to replace John Kelly, who leaves the position at the end of the year.
In a message on the Twitter account of ABC News Politics, Christie requested to be taken out of consideration for the job.
"It’s a honor to be considered but told he president now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment," Christie said.
Christie has worked for ABC News as a commentator since his term ended in January.
The source told Axios that the president believes Christie’s legal background could be useful in the new year. Democrats taking control of the House in January have promised to investigate Trump and threaten impeachment.
Christie's name was reported to be on a short list of candidates to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general after his "resignation" in November. The former governor denied the report. He has a book scheduled for release in January, " Let Me Finish." Its release could be affected by an appointment to the office. The White House could ask for an advance copy as part of its vetting process.
The position has been a challenge for Trump to fill as the president is considered to be difficult to manage. Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, took himself out of the running and decided that he would instead leave the White House.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also paid a visit to the White House on Thursday but told reporters he was there to view the Christmas decorations.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged that Trump's aide and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, could be up for the job, saying that she was "not aware that he's under consideration."
Kushner could stand in the way of a Christie appointment to the job. During his time as U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Christie prosecuted his father, Charles, for illegal political contributions and tax evasion. The elder Kushner served a year in federal prison.
Jared Kushner is said to not have forgiven Christie and stood in the way of his being chosen by his father-in-law for other positions with Trump.
Michael Symons contributed to this report.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.