Steve Bannon and his opinions are of little consequence now that he has been fired, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said in response to an interview the former strategist for President Donald Trump gave on "60 Minutes."
“Now that he’s been fired, no one’s going to really care about anything else Steve Bannon has to say,” Christie told "Newshour Monday" on PBS. The prominent Trump ally added that the Breitbart editor was in his “last 15 minutes of fame.”
In an expansive and forthright interview with Charlie Rose posted online by CBS on Monday, Bannon attacked Christie, the GOP establishment and offered a robust defense of Trump, despite being pushed out from his role as chief political strategist last month.
Bannon explained that Christie, one of the first high-profile Republican figures to back the Trump campaign in 2016, had been denied a spot in the cabinet because of a perceived lack of loyalty. Bannon said Christie failed to offer strong support for Trump after the release of his off-camera remarks in an "Access Hollywood" tape.
The comments by Trump in 2005, in which he boasted about grabbing women to the show’s host Billy Bush, threatened to scupper his presidential campaign and saw a raft of Republican heavyweights come out in condemnation of the candidate.
Bannon said Christie failed to make it to the Trump campaign plane in the midst of the scandal, which resulted in his being sidelined. "Christie, because of Billy Bush weekend, was not looked at for a Cabinet position," Bannon said.
"I told him the plane leaves at 11 o'clock in the morning. If you make the plane, you make the team. He didn't make the plane," he added.
Christie’s staff have denied Bannon’s version of events. “I am not certain what criteria the president used to decide on cabinet members, but the assertion is simply not true," Mike DuHaime, Christie's chief campaign strategist, told the Independent Journal Review.
“Governor Christie was offered more than a half-dozen different cabinet positions, ambassadorships and senior White House positions,” DuHaime added, explaining Christie had wished to continued on in his position as governor.
Prior to his departure from the White House, Bannon, one of the principal architects behind Trump’s 2016 victory, found himself increasingly at odds with incoming Chief of Staff, John Kelly, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. He has since returned to his position at the helm of the right-wing news website Breitbart.com.