WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is considering former campaign rival Chris Christie to replace outgoing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, say sources close to the Trump administration.
Also in the running, say sources, is Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The revelations come in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement by Sessions that he will be leaving his role as Attorney General at the president’s request.
Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker as filling in as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is announced.
The president gave no indication on Wednesday as to why he asked Sessions to resign his role and gave no time frame in which a permanent replacement would be announced.
According to an administration official, Christie attended a previously scheduled law enforcement discussion on prison reform efforts at the White House on Thursday morning. Christie then met privately with the Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner to further discuss prison reform issues.
“They’ve been working really closely on this for months,” the administration official said. “Despite the fact that people have suggested otherwise, the two have a really close and good working relationship, particularly as it relates to prison reform.”
Bondi, whose second and final term as the Sunshine State’s attorney general will end in January, declined through a spokesperson to say whether or not she is under consideration for the Justice Department’s lead role.
“As the attorney general has repeatedly said, she has not yet made a decision as to what she will do next,” Bondi spokesman Whitney Ray said in a statement via email.
“The president will make that announcement when he feels the time is right.”
Neither Christie’s spokesperson nor the White House responded to multiple requests for comment.