Donald Trump Taps Chris Christie to Lead Transition Team

Image: Donald Trump, Chris Christie
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, speaks during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 1, 2016.Andrew Harnik / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Kelly O'Donnell

Donald Trump is looking beyond the convention, the fall campaign and election itself to begin to plan for a massive takeover affecting four million employees: the governing stage.

In a new role, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will serve as chairman to assemble a transition team of experts on domestic and foreign policy to begin the organizational architecture for a future Trump administration.

Christie's team will conduct a search for candidates to fill top cabinet level positions and the roughly one thousand executive branch job openings that require Senate confirmation.

The executive branch employs roughly four million federal workers.

Under the law, a presidential transition team is a separate organization from the campaign.

Sources close to Christie describe this new position as further evidence of how the governor is trying to bring both substance and seriousness to the campaign behind the scenes.

Sources familiar with the planning say the transition team appointment shows "the role the governor is playing as the serious person around Trump who is trying to provide some discipline" to his growing organization.

Christie also continues to act as "a conduit between the establishment and Trump" based on Christie's relationships with Republican elected officials across the country, sources said.