WASHINGTON — Chris Christie said that President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is in “his last 15 minutes of fame,” and denied Bannon’s claim that he fell out of favor with Trump for failing to show up to support him the weekend after the release of the Billy Bush “Access Hollywood” tape.
Christie made the comments on Monday on “PBS Newshour,” where he was shown a clip from Bannon’s interview on “60 Minutes.” In it, Bannon said that he kept Christie’s name in a “little black book” to note that he didn’t back up Trump after the release of the Billy Bush tape. That weekend in October, Trump faced calls even from fellow Republicans that he drop out of the race.
But Christie said that he was there “during the whole Billy Bush weekend,” including for debate preparations. He said that he “spoke truth directly” to Trump that weekend about what needed to be done in response to the release of the tape.
“If I was off the team, then why did I lead debate prep for the third debate?” Christie added, referring to a debate later in the month.
Bannon also claimed that Christie’s failure to support Trump that weekend cost him cabinet positions, but Christie said that he was “offered cabinet positions that I turned down.”
He also slammed Bannon for the “60 Minutes” interview as a publicity ploy.
“Now that he has been fired, no one is going to care about anything else Steve Bannon has to say,” Christie said, adding that “this I suspect is his last 15 minutes of fame. I hope he enjoys it.”
Christie endorsed Trump after dropping out of the presidential race. But after Trump was elected, he was replaced as the leader of Trump’s transition team.