Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump met with Chris Christie last evening and considers him a top contender to replace John Kelly as chief of staff, a source familiar with the president’s thinking tells Axios.

Behind the scenes: Trump has met with a couple of others, but the way he’s discussed Christie to confidants makes them think he’s serious. Christie is "tough; he’s an attorney; he’s politically-savvy, and one of Trump’s early supporters,” the source said. The former New Jersey governor's legal background may also come in handy next year.

Between the lines: Christie is used to being a principal, and it’s unclear how he would handle playing second fiddle. Also, he is not a friend of the Kushners. (As U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Christie sent Jared’s father to prison.)

Also spotted at the White House yesterday ... another contender for chief of staff: David Bossie, Trump's 2016 deputy campaign manager.

P.S. "President Trump's hunt for a new chief of staff has taken on the feel of a reality TV show," the AP reports.

  • Author Chris Whipple, an expert on chiefs of staff, called the search process "sad to watch."

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Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Business: New state unemployment filings fall.
  3. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  4. Health: FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  5. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  6. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

FBI: Russian hacking group stole data after targeting local governments

FBI Headquarters. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Energetic Bear, a Russian state-sponsored hacking group, has stolen data from two servers after targeting state and federal government networks in the U.S. since at least September, the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Thursday.

Driving the news: Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced Wednesday that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information that could be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system.

FDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment

A production line of Remdesivir. Photo: Fadel Dawood/picture alliance via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences on Thursday received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for remdesivir, an antiviral treatment that has shown modest results against treating COVID-19.

Why it matters: It's the first and only fully FDA-approved drug in the U.S. for treating the coronavirus.

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