Chris Christie gave an overview of transition efforts to financial services influencers
The meeting also included an ask for fundraising help
Donald Trump’s transition team will spend the next few months poring over federal regulations and executive actions to develop a 200-day action plan for the candidate if he were elected, Chris Christie, Trump’s transition chairman, told DC insiders this week.
Christie gave an introductory overview of the plan for the operation, which runs separately from the campaign to prepare for a possible presidency, to a group of financial services lobbyists and executives Thursday.
In the meeting at the BGR Group lobbying firm, according to two sources in the room, Christie told the 50-60 financial influencers that economy and job growth would be a top priority of a Trump administration, and that the transition effort already has a team working on reviewing existing regulations and executive actions to come up with potential policy moves.
Christie identified four areas for special focus, the sources said: financial and economic regulations, Obamacare, environmental and energy regulations and labor. The goal will be to have a series of rules Trump can roll back, executive actions he can overturn and other policies he can put in place, either through his executive power or Congress, for his first 200 days in office.
Details of the meeting were first reported by Politico.
The overview of transition efforts was introductory, largely briefing interested parties on top-level plans.
While the operation will resemble the transition effort run for former candidate Mitt Romney, Christie made clear the Trump campaign wanted a “leaner” operation with less staff, per the individuals in the room.
The meeting also included an ask for fundraising help for the transition, though it was characterized as a “gentle” ask.
Transitions, which run separately from the campaigns, get some federal funding by law, and the rest is up to the operation to raise. Fundraising is not affiliated with campaign coffers, and is much lower budget. Individuals and corporations may give up to $5,000.
Christie told the meeting that the goal is to raise roughly $2 million, with the effort almost halfway there already. A source familiar with the transition effort confirmed those benchmarks, and said the transition did not seem to be having any trouble raising money.
While cabinet officials were not discussed, Christie did say the administration would hope to have a few hundred names ready to go on inauguration day to fill key positions. The remaining slots of nearly 4,000 federal positions would be prioritized and filled from there.
He was also asked what the administration would look like, in terms of drawing from the private sector and government.
Christie emphasized that Trump wants to bring change to Washington, so the breakdown would skew toward the private sector. But he said it was likely to be only 60%-70% private sector, noting that Trump will want people with experience in Washington.
The transition team is also vetting roughly 400 people for its operation at this point, Christie told the room.
In what one source described as classic Christie “candor,” he also addressed enthusiasm, saying that in the past week, the campaign and transition has seen much more interest and more returned phone calls. He noted that Washington tends to ride with the political tides, meaning enthusiasm ebbs and flows with polling. But Christie expressed confidence that the transition would have a strong team of people to do its work.
The meeting was mostly attended by government affairs professionals for financial services companies and trade associations. Christie was introduced by Financial Services Roundtable President Tim Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota.