White House officials are shooting down a N.Y. Post story, spreading on Twitter this morning, saying Chris Christie has told his staff he's taking a White House job.
Mike DuHaime, a Christie adviser, told us: "Absolutely not true." A Trump aide said: "100% wrong. The Christie chatter is as always generated by Christieland."
But in checking out that report, we learned that Trump's White House lunch with the governor this week included conversation about a possible drug task force, aimed at a big scourge in Trump country.
"There is some preliminary talk of [Christie] participating in [and perhaps chairing] an independent outside 'opioids task force' along with many others while he remains governor," the aide said.
The Christie flurry comes with Trump spending the holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago, refreshed after his first campaign rally of 2020.
A Trump adviser tells us the president is experiencing acute "cabin fever" in the White House -- hemmed in by headaches, unable to easily pop out to a restaurant the way he could in New York. So yesterday's campaign rally in Florida was partly about Trump management -- a victory lap after a turbulent month, and a chance to bask in the adulation of 9,000 supporters who won't pester or question him.
"Revived by rally, Trump turns back to governing," AP writes. "Trump hits reset with friendlier audience," says the WashPost front page. The N.Y. Times gave Trump his "reset" on Friday, after a Boeing rally in South Carolina.
Trump had said on Air Force One that he planned a message of unity -- but that didn't come till the very end: "[W]e have the chance now, working together, to deliver change for the ages."
But mostly, it was waves of triumphant, scolding riffs. Trump hadn't even gotten past his intro when he went after "fake news ... [t]he dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources, even though they pretend they have them -- they make them up in many cases."
"And by the way, do you think that ... one network will show this crowd? Not one. Not one," Trump said, inciting boos. "They won't show the crowd."
Later, he repeated the same charge. CNN and MSNBC both showed the crowd during their live coverage.
Get used to it. Trump's media assaults used to be more of an aside or applause line. Now, it's a specific strategy, with the White House increasingly using press bias as the answer to almost any challenge.
On "Fox News Sunday," a flustered Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, said that Chris Wallace was "going bananas" with his aggressive questioning on Russia, enemy of the state, etc.
Priebus, taping "Face the Nation" with CBS' John Dickerson yesterday, retreated to "bogus stories" so often that Dickerson said: "So in every answer, you've turned it back to the media. So I guess the question is: Is the strategy now to answer any question by just turning it back on the media and using a fight with the media as a way to try to control the storyline?"