30 Jun 2016 at 13:00 ET
June 30, 2016
Posted with permission from NJ.com
TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie is among the people being vetted as a possible running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a report by the New York Times that explores how the New Jersey governor has become a powerful figure in Trump's campaign.
The report said Christie has also pleaded with GOP donors who have been against giving money to Trump's bid.
It said the governor was one of the top Republicans who privately urged Trump to fire campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, which the billionaire businessman did last month.
And it said Christie, the leader of Trump's transition team, has hired Richard Bagger, his former chief of staff in Trenton, to help with the effort to get Trump ready for the Oval Office should he win.
Is Christie in line to become Trump's chief of staff?
Christie was one of 16 opponents who ran against Trump in the GOP primary. When he dropped out in February, the governor was one of the first major Republicans to endorse the former Atlantic City casino tycoon, whom Christie has been friends with for more than a decade.
Christie has long been considered a possible pick to become Trump's vice president, though this is the first report to say he is actively being vetted.
Asked last week whether Trump's campaign is vetting him, Christie said: "Not that I know of."
There has also been talk the governor could become U.S. attorney general or White House chief of staff.
The Times report said some allies have said Christie has already taken on a role in Trump's campaign that's similar to chief of staff.
Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean Sr., a fellow Republican, told the newspaper that Christie is deeply involved in Trump's activities.
"He was advising him on speeches, he's advising him on policies," Kean told the Times.
"He's in a position to be a good adviser," Kean added, according to the report. "Whether Trump will listen to him or not, I don't know."