New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is disputing former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s characterization of his commitment to President Donald Trump on the campaign trail – saying that one conversation Bannon described in a Sunday interview “never happened.”
On Sunday night, Bannon spoke to CBS’ “60 Minutes” and told a story about a time he told Christie: “‘The plane leaves at 11:00 in the morning. If you’re on the plane, you’re on the team.’ Didn’t make the plane.”
According to Bannon, that was shortly after the Access Hollywood audio tape surfaced, on which Trump was heard making crude remarks about women in a conversation with Billy Bush.
“That conversation that Mr. Bannon references in his interview never happened,” Christie said in an interview Monday night on PBS NewsHour.
Bannon, however, described that weekend after the Access Hollywood tape surfaced as a “litmus test” for who was truly in Trump’s corner – and it cost Christie a chance at a Cabinet position.
“Christie, because of – Billy Bush– weekend – and – was– was – not looked at for a Cabinet position,” Bannon told CBS’ Charlie Rose.
But on Monday, Christie fired back, saying Bannon’s interview was inaccurate.
“Never had any conversations with him, I didn’t need to convey those kind of feelings to staffers. I was speaking to the principal, to the man who is now the president of the United States,” Christie said. “I was there the whole Billy Bush weekend, I was there during debate prep – leading debate prep for the second debate – both on Friday and on Saturday.”
Christie added: “I was offered Cabinet positions that I turned down.”
When describing the fallout from the Access Hollywood tape on CBS, Bannon said he made a list of who stuck by Trump, after being asked by Rose if he “took names” that weekend.
“I did. … You know, I’m Irish. I got to get my black book and I got ‘em,” he said.
Christie addressed the alleged black book in Monday’s interview.
“So, I suspect this little black book that Mr. Bannon is talking about, the only one who read that black book was Mr. Bannon himself. I know that no one else cared about it,” Christie said. “And now that he’s been fired, no one’s really going to care about anything else Steve Bannon has to say.”