Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics
a book by Chris Christie
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that From the outspoken former governor, an "explosive" (Guardian) "must read" (Hugh Hewitt) account of Chris Christie's life in politics including his eye-opening insights into Donald Trump -- "you will like the stories he tells" (Brian Kilmeade).
After dropping out of the 2016 presidential race, Chris Christie stunned the political world by becoming the first major official to endorse Donald Trump. A friend of Trump's for fifteen years, the two-term New Jersey governor understood the future president as well as anyone in the political arena—and Christie quickly became one of Trump's most trusted advisers. Tapped with running Trump's transition team, Christie was nearly named his running mate. But within days of Trump's surprise victory over Hillary Clinton, Christie was in for his own surprise: he was being booted out.
In Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics, Christie sets the record straight about his tenure as a corruption-fighting prosecutor and a Republican running a Democratic state, as well as what really happened on the 2016 campaign trail and inside Trump Tower. Christie takes readers inside the ego-driven battles for Trump's attention among figures like Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowksi, Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway, Jeff Sessions, and Paul Manafort.
He shows how the literal trashing of Christie's transition plan put the new administration in the hands of self-serving amateurs, all but guaranteeing the Trump presidency's shaky start. Christie also addresses hot-button issues from his own years in power, including what really went down during Bridgegate. And, for the first time, Christie tells the full story of the Kushner saga: how, as a federal prosecutor, Christie put Jared Kushner's powerful father behind bars—a fact Trump's son-in-law makes Christie pay for later.
Christie's memoir is an essential guide to understanding the Trump presidency
Packed with news-making revelations and told with the kind of bluntness few politicians can match, Christie's memoir is an essential guide to understanding the Trump presidency.
"Part autobiography and part firsthand accounting of a presidency, the book...paints Mr. Trump as a phenom who was obviously effective as a candidate--but who has relied on the wrong people and has been ill-served by many advisers, including some members of his family.... Mr. Christie [has] lifted the curtain on some of the most explosive moments of the . . . —Maggie Haberman, The New York Times
"Explosive.... Exceptional as a chronicle of the score-settling and animosity that drove key decision-making in Trump's nascent presidency."—The Guardian
"The former New Jersey governor delivers plenty of jabs at political enemies.... But beneath all the record-correcting and score-settling... he offers a defense of the hyper-confrontational style that first made him famous, and later helped make Trump president."—McKay Coppins, The Atlantic
"[A] fantastic book."—Stephen Colbert, "The Late Show"
"Stunning...intriguing.... Christie's history with the campaign means that when he talks about Trump and those around him--as he does in... Let Me Finish--we should all listen..."—CNN "The Point with Chris Cillizza"
"Candid."—ABC "This Week"
"Go get [Let Me Finish], you will not regret it. If you like this show, you'll like the stories he tells."—Brian Kilmeade, FOX News' "The Brian Kilmeade" show
"Not to miss."—Entertainment Weekly
"A fascinating book."—Trevor Noah, "The Daily Show"
"If you've been missing the force of Chris Christie's personality since he returned to private life last year, you can now get your fix at full blast from his autobiography, Let Me Finish...a big, loud book."—NPR Book Review
"In Christie’s view, trashing the transition plan was the original sin of the Trump administration. Instead of the right people, the president got 'the revolving door of deeply flawed individuals — amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons — who were hustled into jobs they were never suited for, sometimes seemingly without so much as a background check via Google or Wikipedia.' . . . This self-serving book doesn’t make the most appealing case. Is anyone longing for another in-your-face president? It may be true that, as Karl Ove Knausgaard put it in one of his My Struggle autobiographical novels, 'What’s done is dung and cannot be undung.'" (Source: "Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics," by Chris Christie with Ellis Henican, Dwight Garner/New York Times, Santa Fe New Mexican)
What’s done is dung and cannot be undung
" . . . by the end of the book, we are accustomed to hearing how much Christie mattered to Trump. How he helped pitch in to save the election night speech. How he saved the president by preparing him for debates with Hillary Clinton. How the president told him he "couldn't have done this without you." And finally, how the president, when showing Christie and his wife around the Oval Office for the first time, said: "This might have been you guys here if it hadn't been for Bridgegate."" (Source: Even In His Own Memoir, 'Let Me Finish,' Chris Christie Gets Upstaged By Trump, Ron Elving, NPR)
In Christie's own words, here is the essense of the book and its handling of the devastated, sabotaged transition: "Here are the facts of the Trump transition: The day after Trump was elected, he was handed a detailed road map that would have avoided many of these pitfalls and launched him on a far more promising path, a plan that was fully consistent with his values, his campaign promises, and his publicly stated views. But that plan was thrown in the trash. Literally. All thirty binders were tossed in a Trump Tower dumpster, never to be seen again. Steve Bannon, Rick Dearborn, Jared Kushner and others, for their own selfish reasons, got rid of the guidance that would have made their candidate an immensely more effective president and would have saved him an awful lot of heartache, too. In so doing, they stole from the man they’d just helped elect the launch he so richly deserved."
"Transition THIS, Christie!"—Jared Kushner tosses all thirty binders of the Trump transition plan into a Trump Tower dumpster, sabotaging Trump's presidency
"(Per Christie, Bannon told him, 'if you want to survive around here, you've got to agree with the kid [Jared Kushner] 95 percent of the time.') Energized by seething resentments, Christie's memoir is a lively, swaggering, thin-skinned portrait of Trumpian politics by an accomplished practitioner." (Source: Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics, Publishers Weekly)
"Chris Christie has hit out at Jared Kushner, accusing Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser of carrying out a political “hit job” on him as an act of revenge for the prosecution of his father." (Source: Chris Christie Accuses Jared Kushner of Political ‘Hit Job’ on Him in New Book, the Daily Beast)
The CW had been that Trump's presidency got off to a terrible start because Trump was an inexperienced blowhard who never listened to anyone and just impulsively chose a cabinet and other posts at random. This book, Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics, makes clear that the CW couldn't have been more wrong (except for the attributions impulsive and blowhard). If we were Trump, we'd walk into Kushner's office and do what he does best: "You're fired!"
The outrageously petty and childish curse that Kushner put upon the Trump presidency was a devastating blow to a new president. Why did Trump listen to this spoiled, entitled young fool? Why did he allow him to dump all the planning and research of Christie's transition team? Why did Trump allow a know-nothing spoiled brat to sabotage his presidency?! Trump had known Christie for 15 years, and yet he listened to a vengeful brat instead of a political expert with many years of experience. Was Ivanka part of this? Why didn't she stop her husband from ruining her father's presidency?
Kushner and Bannon trashing the transition plan screwed the Trump administration bigtime—instead of appropriate people, the president got amateurs, grifters, weaklings, convicted and unconvicted felons, all of whom were hustled into jobs they were never suited for
Instead of high-quality, vetted appointees Trump got totally inappropriate people, self-seeking incompetants, inexperienced opportunists, many immoral people or even felons. As Christie says, "Out on the campaign trail, Donald had spoken frequently about knowing 'all the best people.' Far too often, he’s found himself saddled with the riffraff." All because Jared Kushner couldn't face the shame that his father was a crook, so he did his best to screw over Christie, the guy who sent his father to the big house. The problem with this childish thinking is that it didn't really harm Christie much. It did a million times as much harm to Trump and his presidency. Not the kind of son-in-law to make a man a proud father-in-law! How can Trump keep this back-stabbing bozo around the White House? Most of us have been wondering for months how Trump can bear the sight of the man. How can Ivanka stay married to this treasonous back-stabber? She deserves so much more!
Steve Bannon told Christie 'The kid’s been taking an ax to your head with the boss ever since I got here, it’s been constant. He never stops. Ancient bitterness, I guess.'
Steve Bannon told Christie “The kid’s been taking an ax to your head with the boss ever since I got here,” he blurted out. “It’s been constant. He never stops. Ancient bitterness, I guess.” Not much guessing to it. Bannon was afraid to disagree with anything the Jared Kushner saboteur said, and, from all appearances, Trump was unable to get rid of Kushner for fear of losing the love of his gorgeous daughter Ivanka. Family drama on a cosmic scale!
Trump was supposed to be Christie's friend but he threw Christie under the bus about Bridgegate as well as the Trump transition team, and he enjoyed it—some friend!
Chris Christie spent two plus years being accused of knowing about and possibly running Bridgegate, then after the media circus and incessant investigations which eventually cleared Christie of any wrong-doing, Donald Trump tells the media that Christie knew about Bridgegate. He was supposed to be Christie's friend but he threw him under the bus and he enjoyed it. This suggests the question: Who does that? Trump does, that's who. Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics is about massaging Christy’s big ego to prepare for another run at the presidency.
George Washington Bridge NY
It was very obvious that Trump often conned Christie and still is, because even after Christie was turned down for Vice President (thanks to Jared Kushner), and even after he was dumped from the Trump transition team (thanks to Jared Kushner), he still took the offer from Trump to chair the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis. What is obvious to everyone who is paying attention is that Christie wrote Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics to give his side of the story, but then he went out of his way to describe Trump as a good (although faulty) person who was being evilly manipulated by Jared Kushner.
Sounds to us like Christie is paving the way for a future political move of some kind. If there is one person who really ought to read this book, it is Donald Trump. But Trump doesn't read, learn, or listen to others, so that's just a hopeless fantasy.
They said the only one Trump listens to is his wolfpack mate Putin, but Christie's tell-all adds Jared Kushner to the list