January 17, 2019 / 12:59 AM / a year ago

'Grifters, weaklings, felons': Christie on the Trump White House

FILE PHOTO: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivers his 2018 “State of the State” address to the New Jersey legislature in Trenton, New Jersey, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sees the Trump White House as a rogues’ gallery of flawed people sidetracking the work of the U.S. president, according to excerpts of his forthcoming memoir posted on the news site Axios on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump employs a “revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons — who were hustled into jobs they were never suited for, sometimes seemingly without so much as a background check via Google or Wikipedia,” Christie, who was a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign, says in his memoir, “Let Me Finish,” which is due to be released on Jan. 29.

Christie had sought the Republican presidential nomination himself in 2016 before becoming a diligent supporter and surrogate for Trump, but his work with the administration has been limited and he recently withdrew his name from consideration for Trump’s chief of staff.

Marred by his own scandal as governor of New York’s southern neighbor, Christie writes that Trump “trusts people he shouldn’t, including some of the people who are closest to him.”

“I did everything I could to make sure my friend Donald reached the White House fully prepared to serve,” he writes. “But a handful of selfish individuals sidetracked our very best efforts. They set loose toxic forces that have made Trump’s presidency far less effective than it would otherwise have been.”

He also writes about a grudge that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner allegedly harbors against him, saying that Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon told him Kushner was relentless in bashing Christie over “ancient bitterness.”

As the U.S. attorney for New Jersey before he became governor, Christie prosecuted Charles Kushner, Jared’s father, for tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donation, and many in Washington believe that in winning a conviction in that case Christie lost any chance of holding a post in the Trump administration.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Leslie Adler

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