Was Chris Christie ousted from the Trump administration because he was a camera hog?

Chris Christie meets with Donald Trump in New Jersey on Nov. 20
(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The demotion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from short-lister for Donald Trump's running mate to long shot for any significant role in the Trump administration is one of the enduring mysteries of the Trump transition. Allies of Christie and Trump both insist that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law whose father was sent to jail by Christie, is not behind Christie's fall from grace, but they don't agree on the reason he was largely frozen out of the Trump presidential transition, Hunter Walker says at Yahoo News.

Christie loyalists say that the New Jersey governor did a professional job putting together a transition plan and that the Trump team was caught flat-footed because nobody around the president-elect expected him to actually win. "Trump has said he didn't want anything to do with the transition because he's superstitious," one Christie ally told Yahoo News. Team Christie adds that his demotion to honorary vice-chairman of the transition when Vice President-elected Mike Pence was named chairman is just a normal part of the shift from theoretical to practical, with one Christie ally pointing to Dick Cheney's takeover of the transition effort for George W. Bush in 2000.

Trump sources say that Christie was given the boot because of incompetence, growing concerns over his role in the Bridgegate scandal, and his placing of lobbyists on the transition team — a point the Christie allies dispute, saying no lobbyists were to be given roles after the election. Christie had been AWOL from the campaign so much that campaign staffers were surprised that he showed up at campaign headquarters on Election Day, one staffer told Walker. "Where was Christie?" the staffer said. "Where was he? He certainly wasn't planning the transition." Then there was another factor, Walker reports:

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Something was bothering Donald Trump as he made his victory speech after the election. The newly minted president-elect took the stage with at least 40 of his closest aides and allies, but according to a high-level campaign source familiar with Trump's thinking, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kept pushing to be near the president-elect and "trying to get in shots." "Trump got annoyed," the source told Yahoo News. [Yahoo News]

The reports of Christie's political demise may be exaggerated — he met with Trump at Trump's New Jersey golf club on Sunday, and afterward Trump told reporters that Christie is "a very talented man" who is "tough" and "smart."

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