Conservatives try to undercut Christie’s role in Trump land

‘Conservatives are very nervous about Chris Christie,’ says the leader of one activist group, with judgeships and top White House jobs potentially at stake.

But behind the scenes, there’s an insurrection-in-the-making among powerful conservative groups in Washington that are skeptical of Christie’s leadership and want to exert influence over the process of filling roughly 4,000 jobs as part of a new administration, to say nothing of top White House slots and judgeships.

.. “For his judicial nominees as the New Jersey governor, he appointed a bunch of liberals, or he treated the nominations like political payoff positions. It is the type of approach that would be devastating for Trump to have Christie, as attorney general, picking judges or applying the same approach to fill key regulatory positions in the EPA or Treasury Department.”

.. one person on the Trump transition told POLITICO that there is simmering tension between the team’s conservative and moderate Republicans, who have vastly different visions for a future Trump White House.

.. Other conservative activists say they feel best about Christie’s leadership of the transition team when he’s surrounded by conservatives, such as Becky Norton Dunlop and Ed Feulner of The Heritage Foundation.

“Looking at the totality of the transition team, I am comfortable,” another leader of a conservative activist group said.

.. Reservations about Christie persist among some in Trump’s inner circle, including with son-in-law Jared Kushner Because, as U.S. Attorney, Christie successfully prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, for tax evasion and witness tampering.

.. Trump is a Northeasterner. He likes Christie and [Rudy] Giuliani. They talk like him. It’s a cultural thing.”

.. As far as Bridgegate is concerned, there’s a general sense in Trump world that Christie can survive the courtroom drama unfolding in New Jersey, barring any devastating revelations. “His scandal in relation to both candidates’ current issues is a walk in the park,” one Republican said. “As far as scandals go, Christie’s looks the least damaging.”

..Clay Johnson, the head of George W. Bush’s transition team, told reporters at a recent even:, “Gov. Christie is the chairman of the transition, but the person driving all of the work is Rich Bagger.”