Chris Christie would head Donald Trump transition team
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announced Monday that Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will chair the real estate mogul’s White House transition team.
‘‘Governor Christie is an extremely knowledgeable and loyal person with the tools and resources to put together an unparalleled transition team, one that will be prepared to take over the White House when we win in November,’’ the likely GOP nominee said in a statement.
Christie, a Republican, has quickly become one of Trump’s most visible allies, traveling with the reality television celebrity to campaign stops around the country and acting as a surrogate on news shows.
He shocked political observers in February when he endorsed Trump’s bid for the White House, which many took as a signal that the GOP establishment would begin to fall in line behind Trump’s insurgent campaign.
What the endorsement ultimately signified, in hindsight, was the sharp fissure that would develop within the Republican establishment over whether Trump can be trusted as the party standard-bearer.
Many of the country’s Republican leaders — including several of Trump’s primary rivals — have said they will sit out this election rather than vote for Trump.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week that he is ‘‘not ready’’ to endorse Trump, even as the party faces a tough general election fight against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.
Christie’s appointment to the transition team comes as the campaign struggles to shift its messaging to the general election, beyond the bombastic rhetoric that appealed to the GOP base during the primary.
In his new role, Christie brings credibility as an experienced state executive to the campaign’s ranks while signaling that the campaign will continue outreach to establishment leaders and aides in Washington.
‘‘I am honored by the confidence being placed in me by Mr. Trump and look forward to putting together a first-rate team to assemble an administration to help best serve the president-elect and the nation,’’ Christie said in a statement released by the campaign.
Trump has driven all remaining competitors out of the nomination contest, although more primaries must be held to confirm that he has enough support to win the nomination on the first ballot. Republicans will cast votes Tuesday in Nebraska and West Virginia.
Ted Cruz may have shut down his presidential bid, but a top adviser to the Texas senator still hopes to push his conservative agenda at the convention, perhaps over bathroom use by transgender people.
In an e-mail to convention delegates backing the senator, Cruz adviser Ken Cuccinelli said those at the July gathering in Cleveland will have a chance ‘‘to strengthen and protect the conservative elements’’ of the party’s platform, a statement of the party’s policy goals that does not bind the presidential nominee.
The 2,472 GOP delegates will have final say on the party’s rules and platform at the convention.
Cuccinelli said in the interview that he expected a push for a statement in the platform effectively saying: ‘‘Boys should only be allowed to go in the boys’ bathroom, and girls should only be allowed to go in the girls’ bathroom.’’
The federal Justice Department sued North Carolina on Monday over the state’s law requiring transgender people to use the restroom of the gender on their birth certificate.
The e-mail, which invited Cruz backers to join a Monday night conference call on the subject, was first reported by The New York Times.