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Chris Christie says no to White House chief of staff job

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) declined the White House chief of staff role on Friday, making him the latest high-profile candidate who's no longer in the running for the influential post.

Christie and President Trump reportedly met Thursday evening to discuss the role of replacing John Kelly, who will be departing as chief of staff by the end of the year.

“It’s an honor to have the President consider me as he looks to choose a new White House chief-of-staff,” Christie wrote in a statement shared by Maggie Haberman of the New York Times on Friday. “However, I’ve told the President that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment. As a result, I have asked not to be considered for this post.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump said Thursday that he was down to five finalists for the position, adding that the candidates were “mostly well known” and “terrific people.”

Earlier in the week, Trump's initial top pick for the job -- Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Pence -- turned down the offer.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), another candidate for the position, was out of the running a few days later after having a discussion with Trump, who told the outgoing Freedom Caucus chairman that he's needed in Congress to help defend the administration, according to a White House official.

Christie was one of Trump’s opponents during the GOP presidential primary in 2016. He later endorsed Trump after after dropping out.

He then served as an adviser during the campaign and headed up the transition team.

Former Trump campaign adviser David Bossie, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, are said to among those under consideration, according to multiple news reports.

Whoever is chosen will be Trump’s third chief of staff in less than two years. Reince Priebus left the post in summer 2017.

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