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Christie will finish term as New Jersey governor, not serve in Trump administration

By Allen Cone
Christie will finish term as New Jersey governor, not serve in Trump administration
President-elect Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Sunday. Christie said on his Monday radio show he intends to finish his term as governor, which ends in 13 months. Pool Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Chris Christie said he plans to serve out his second term as New Jersey governor rather than serving in the Trump administration.

Christie made the comments Monday on New Jersey 101.5's Ask the Governor.

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On Sunday, Christie and Trump met at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

"I have said to the president-elect, reminding him, that I have 14 months left in my term and that it's my desire to finish my term," Christie said on the monthly radio show. "You don't ever look at the president — at least I don't — look at a president of the United States and say to them, 'under no circumstances will I consider anything you ask me to do.' But I think the president-elect understands that I feel like I've got an obligation here in the state to complete the term I was elected to."

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Christie had insisted that his position had not changed on finishing his term, but earlier he had not ruled out taking a cabinet position.

Christie criticized reporters for suggesting he would serve under Trump.

"They obviously have nothing to do," he said. "I've been really clear about this since I endorsed Donald back in February that I had every intention then and I have every intention and belief now, as I said in Atlantic City last week, that I'm going to fulfill my term. And I don't know why, when I continue to say it, people don't believe it. But I've been saying it all along."

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Christie declined to say whether he was offered a job by Trump.

"I'm not going to get into that," he said. "What I'm telling everybody is, that I have absolutely every reason to believe that I will be serving here until Jan. 18 of 2018. And the president-elect has been incredibly generous to me the entire time I had the opportunity to chair the pre-election transition [and] during that time that I've been able, in the post-election period, to provide him advice and counsel on putting together the government, not just personnel but things that need to be done and how to do them."

After the election, Christie was removed as chairman of the transition team and named vice chairman. His backers on the transition team also were also demoted.

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He also said it was "all crap" Trump was upset by the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial.

A dozen different witnesses said the governor knew ahead of time about the closing.

Politico reported Saturday with unnamed sources that Trump and his top aides had concerns about the fallout from the trial and how he handled the transition.

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He said he had discussed the Bridgegate trial "while it was going on."

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"I told him what was going on, and he believed me," Christie said. He said he and Trump had also talked about the Access Hollywood videotape from 2005 that had audio of Trump saying when you're a star, women let you do anything, even grab them between the legs.

"We've each had challenges and problems in our political life that we helped each other get through," said Christie. "I know how much he values my friendship, and he knows how much I value his."

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Christie's approval rating has declined since he became governor in 2010.

This month, Christie's approval rating in New Jersey dropped to the lowest ever during his tenure to 19 percent in a Rutgers University-Eagleton poll.

Christie became a presidential candidate on June 30, 2015. But after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary he suspended his campaign on Feb. 10 and endorsed Trump 16 days later.

He frequently was at Trump's side during the presidential campaign.

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