|Nothing personal but He’s fired! There is no room for Christie, his issues are way too big|
In comparison to Trump President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team was deep into the vetting process by early November 2008 — not just meeting with prospective nominees but also compiling fat dossiers on them, according to emails made public through WikiLeaks. The Obama team also released a code of ethics for transition team members just a few days after the election to limit the influence of special interests. The Trump transition team, meanwhile, is full of lobbyists and has not released such a code.
“It’s a lot of new people coming in the door. I’m sure their heads are spinning, with security clearances and background checks,” said one transition team source. “They’re going from the footloose and fancy-free world of the campaign into the process of setting up a government. It’s a little different.”
The demotion of Christie and his top aides — Rich Bagger, Christie’s former chief of staff, and William Palatucci, a former Christie law partner and the transition’s general counsel — sent shock waves through the team’s ranks.
Bagger and Palatucci worked behind the scenes for months to create a methodical operation that was less drama-filled than the New York-based campaign shop. They played a central role in hiring transition staff, developing an infrastructure, setting up policy- and agency-focused teams and culling shortlists for top administration jobs.
The shakeup “definitely caused some confusion,” said one person on Trump’s transition team. “There’s been a lot of dust that’s been kicked up.”
Among those departing is former House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, who said Tuesday that the group’s work “will provide a strong foundation for the new transition team leadership as they move into the post-election phase, which naturally is incorporating the campaign team in New York who drove President-elect Trump to an incredible victory last Tuesday.”
At one point, members of the transition team even talked with good-government types — some of them Democrats, such as former Obama administration ethics czar Norm Eisen — to think through a code of ethics for the team. “I and others appealed to both sides in this election to put in these tough rules, starting in the transition, because that is where the tone is set,” he said.
The transition team has not yet made public its internal code of conduct, nor did it respond to a request for comment about it.
Nonetheless, Trump’s closest aides are meeting with prospective candidates in hopes of announcing nominees for key Cabinet posts in the coming weeks, sources told POLITICO.