WASHINGTON — Gov. Chris Christie graded President Trump's first 100 days as a B, with room for improvement, as the governor gently criticized the president's staff.

The grade is mostly because of the successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper, and the fact that it will last beyond Trump's time in the White House.

"It was a really important accomplishment for the American people," Christie said.

Christie also applauded the effect that Trump's executive actions have had on "the regulatory side," which he said have benefited New Jersey.

"But some of the implementations and ways his staff has served him has not been extraordinarily good, and I think they've got to get their act together in that regard and serve the president better," Christie said, citing the way Republican lawmakers' health care proposal was rolled out.

Christie said that in his time as governor, he has learned the importance of having a good team around him.

"You rely upon your staff to be able to tee the ball up and make sure that when you swing, you hit the ball and hit the ball far," Christie said.

Asked by Tapper about a New York Times report that said Trump regrets "throwing away" the transition plans laid out by Christie before the election, the governor said he was proud of the "deep, detailed, effective plan" he put together before Vice President Mike Pence took over the transition team.

"I have great respect for the vice president," Christie said, adding that he wasn't concerned when Pence took over.

Christie, who is heading a presidential task force on opioid addiction, said that both drug dealers and the pharmaceutical industry should share the blame for the current opioid epidemic.

"Four out of every five heroin addicts start on prescription opioids" in New Jersey, according to Christie, and he said people with addictive personalities or addictive disorders get hooked almost immediately. "Then they can't get the opioids or they're too expensive ... and turn to illegal sources for their fix."

During Thursday's "Ask the Governor," Christie said he is not looking for an official or formal role with the Trump administration, but admitted as a "senior friend" he talks with Trump "on a fairly regular basis" about both official and personal matters.

"I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who's become president," Christie said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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