Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

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

“He’s tough; he’s an attorney; he’s politically-savvy, and one of Trump’s early supporters."

Behind the scenes: Trump has met with a couple of others, but the way he’s discussed Christie to confidants make them think he’s serious. His legal background may come in handy next year.

Between the lines: Christie is used to being a principal, and it’s unclear how he’ll 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.)

Christie was not immediately available for comment.

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Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

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Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.