Something was bothering Donald Trump as he made his victory speech after the election. The newly minted president-elect took the stage with at least 40 of his closest aides and allies, but according to a high-level campaign source familiar with Trump’s thinking, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kept pushing to be near the president-elect and “trying to get in shots.”
“Trump got annoyed,” the source told Yahoo News.
The election night photo incident was one of several factors Trump insiders cited to explain why Christie was demoted from his position as transition team chair and replaced by Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Nov. 11.
Contrary to some press reports, Christie’s downfall wasn’t the result of friction with Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, campaign sources said. Instead, Trump thought Christie was mishandling the transition, and he had “growing concerns” about the governor’s role in the Bridgegate scandal, in which two of Christie’s close aides were convicted of conspiracy on Nov. 4. During the trial, witnesses testified that Christie was aware of the planning of the scheme. Although the governor has steadfastly denied any role in the plan to tie up traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., to punish its mayor, when the verdict was announced, a pair of campaign appearances Christie was set to make for Trump were abruptly canceled.
“There were just some things that were not handled appropriately or done to a level of satisfaction and professionalism,” the high-level source said of the transition team under Christie.