What Is Chris Christie's White House Role? The Embattled Governor Was Finally Handed A Job
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had a couple of busy days. Back in his home state, two of his associates were sentenced to time in prison for the "Bridgegate" scandal which the governor maintains he had no involvement in. Not such good news. And that's after initially being overlooked during the transition for a job in the Trump administration. But then Wednesday, he had some good news too; he was offered a job after all. So what is Chris Christie's new role in the Trump administration? He will be overseeing the White House's focus on the opioid crisis.
President Trump announced the new role on Wednesday after making some comments on the epidemic. "Opioid abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States," Trump before tapping Christie. "This is a total epidemic. And I think it's almost un-talked about compared to the severity that we’re witnessing." Well, now it's Christie's job to focus on it.
He will be chairing a special commission that will fall under the White House Office of American Innovation. That's the new "SWAT team" that the administration introduced Monday under the leadership of Trump adviser and Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner (a bit awkward, but we'll get to that later).
This is not the first time that the New Jersey governor has been in the news for his stance to help fight opioid addiction. During the campaign, he talked about the issue in New Hampshire, garnering positive feedback. Christie explained how important he sees the fight against addiction with Trump at his side:
[F]olks don't talk about it. We talked about cancer, we talk about heart disease, we talk about diabetes, and we're not afraid to talk about it. But people are afraid and ashamed to talk about drug addiction. And while they don't talk about it, we lose lives — lives of good people.
As for the issues with Kushner, the two have seemed to put that behind them. When Christie was a U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, he prosecuted Kushner's father and put him in jail. Now that all seems to be water under the bridge.
"Listen, that stuff is ancient history. It's over 12 years ago. And Jared and I have worked incredibly well on this issue and, by the way, on a whole bunch of other issues during the campaign," Christie also said Wednesday.
There was no mention of Christie's original snub, but Trump did mention how the governor supported him. "We're fortunate to have Governor Chris Christie with us, a friend of mine — a great friend of mine — a very, very early endorser — in fact, an immediate endorser — once he got out of the race," Trump joked, adding, "He liked himself more than he liked me." Perhaps that was the trouble with him being attorney general.