NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is still under consideration for one of two Cabinet posts in the Trump administration, according to a report out of Christie's home state.
NJ Advance Media, which owns the Newark Star-Ledger, reported this week Christie is being considered to lead the Homeland Security or Energy departments. Either post would require Senate confirmation and would require Christie to resign as governor prior to the end of his second and final term, which concludes in January, 2018.
NJ Advance Media cited three unnamed sources who said Christie remains under consideration for the jobs despite having been demoted as head of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team earlier this month. Christie was demoted to one of several co-chairs of the transition and Vice President-elect Mike Pence was named his replacement, amid reports of infighting between Christie and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a member of Trump's inner circle.
Christie has been dogged by damaging testimony from a former aide over the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal. Two of Christie's former aides were convicted of plotting to snarl traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., across the border from Manhattan, as political retribution for the town's mayor refusing to endorse Christie's gubernatorial re-election.
Christie, a former presidential candidate himself who was among the first to endorse Trump after his own campaign faltered, was previously a finalist to become Trump's running mate. The former U.S. attorney was also thought to be in the running for attorney general prior to the Bridgegate scandal.
As head of Homeland Security, Christie would oversee the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Christie has an extensive, frequently caustic relationship with FEMA, after publicly feuding for more relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Ross, 78, carved out a reputation as a turnaround specialist after leading several companies through bankruptcy, though his solutions for improving the fortunes of failing companies were often controversial and generally included large staff reductions. He is worth an estimated $2.9 billion.
As Commerce secretary, Ross' most prominent role would be overseeing enforcement of the nation's trade agreements, something Trump made a focal point of his campaign. Politico reported Ross' vast business dealings make it difficult to know whether he has potential conflicts of interest that would prevent him from accepting a role in the Trump administration. Ross would need to divest himself of investments in any companies with government contracts and may need to give up seats on at least five publicly traded companies' boards.