President Trump reportedly snapped at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Election Night when Christie said that President Obama would be calling via Christie’s cell phone — a move that angered the germophobic Trump and soured the pair’s relationship.
The account, in Joshua Green’s new book released Tuesday, Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency, offers a glimpse into how Christie — who was once head of the Trump transition team and tipped for a key post in the Trump administration — ended up cast out of Trump’s inner circle.
According to Green’s sources, Christie’s downfall began when Trump slowly began to realize he was going to be the next President of the United States. Green writes that although Trump was surrounded by family, friends, and aides, he seemed to have a “hidden force field” around him keeping his distance.
Trump went and sat down, apparently absorbing the consequences of his unlikely victory. Christie, according to Green, did not get the hint to stay away and sat down next to Trump to tell him he had spoken to President Obama earlier. Christie and Obama knew each other from 2012, when Obama had visited New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy just days before the election — a move that caused some conservatives to blame Christie for Mitt Romney’s loss to Obama.
“If you win he’s going to call my phone, and I’ll pass it over to you,” Christie told Trump, who had a reputation for being a germophobe and thus unlikely to want to touch Christie’s phone, much less have it pushed up against his face.
Trump then reportedly snapped: “Hey, Chris, you know my fucking number. Just give it to the president. I don’t want your fucking phone.”
A witness told Green that it was the “ultimate mistake.” But Christie’s gaffe was compounded when, around midnight, Christie appeared in the VIP section of Trump Tower and boisterously “made a beeline for Trump.”
“It’s one of the main reasons he got fired,” one attendee told Green. “Trump hates being smothered, and Christie just got under his skin.”
Days later, then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence took over the Trump transition team from Christie. Christie was rumored to be in consideration for a number of Cabinet positions but was never nominated. In March he was appointed to lead the White House’s drug addition commission.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY