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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In his book, "Let Me Finish," Chris Christie answers a question about Donald Trump that has long perplexed me: Why are his ties so ridiculously long?

What he's saying: Christie, who was the first high-profile Republican elected official to endorse Trump's 2016 campaign, describes what Trump was like backstage before rallies. "Donald choreographed every last detail...he produced me, too, or tried to," Christie writes.

  • 'I want your tie to be longer,' he said. 'It's slenderizing.'
  • 'I'm not retying my tie,' I told him. 'My tie is fine. I think yours is too long.'
  • 'No, no,' he shot back at me. 'Mine is the perfect length. It makes you look thinner.'

Bonus: Christie describes a completely bonkers scene from Trump's 2016 debate prep. General Michael Flynn, whom Christie describes as "a train wreck from beginning to end," suggested that Trump pivot back to being pro-choice to "knock Clinton off guard."

  • "No sir," interjected Kellyanne Conway, according to Christie. "That's not a good thing to do."
  • Our thought bubble: Had Trump followed Flynn's advice, we would now be writing about President Hillary Clinton. Trump would've still achieved a record evangelical vote in 2016 — but instead of a record high, it would've been a record low for a Republican.

Go deeper ... Trump 101: He is definitely not a health nut

Go deeper

9 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

11 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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