Steve Bannon Says Chris Christie Wasn’t Considered for a Cabinet Position Because of ‘Billy Bush Saturday’

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes” that the “Access Hollywood” tape featuring Donald Trump talking about groping women was a litmus test where he saw who really had Trump’s back, and who didn’t.

Bannon claimed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wasn’t considered for a Cabinet position because of his response to the tapes

Bannon remarked that he often told Trump that his chances of winning were 100%, because he still appealed “to the American people and to the working class people in this country […] And I told him why. They don’t care.”

Bannon clarified that Americans do care about respect for women, but consider the Hollywood Access tape “locker room talk.”

When Rose asked Bannon if he lost confidence in anyone after the tape release, Banoon replied, “The Billy Bush Saturday to me is a litmus test […] When you side with a man, you side with him, okay. The good and the bad.”

“Billy Bush weekend showed me who really had Donald Trump’s back,” Bannon said. “I told [Christie], ‘the plane leaves at 11 o’clock in the morning. If you’re on the plane, you’re on the team.’ Didn’t make the plane.”

Politico reports:

When the tape surfaced, Christie called Trump’s words “unacceptable,” but said he was still supporting Trump in his bid for office.

“That kind of talk and conversation — even in private — is just unacceptable,” he said in October 2016. “I was really disturbed and disappointed by it and embarrassed for him and his family.”

Bannon said those remarks cost Christie a position in the administration […]

POLITICO previously reported that Trump offered Christie several jobs, including the labor secretary job, which he turned down.

However, Christie spokesman Brian Murray denied Bannon’s claims that Christie’s remarks cost him a Cabinet position:

As has been widely reported, the governor had been offered multiple Cabinet positions in addition to other senior posts in the White House and elsewhere. He chose to stay as governor and complete his term. Any assertion to the contrary is simply factually incorrect.

The “Access Hollywood” tape was recorded to promote Trump’s appearance on “Days of Our Lives,” and the resulting media backlash caused several Republicans and Democrats alike to condemn Trump’s words.

Some Republicans even pulled their public endorsement for Trump’s campaign.

Business insider reports:

While Democrats and Republicans alike predicted the tape would deal a fatal blow to Trump’s campaign, Bannon insists he predicted Trump’s supporters would forgive the remarks, which he characterized as “locker room talk,” and told the president he had a “100% probability of winning.”

For Bannon, who managed the last few months of Trump’s campaign, the response of those supporting Trump to the tape was a test of loyalty.

“Billy Bush Saturday showed me who really had Donald Trump’s back to play to his better angels,” Bannon told Rose. “All you had to do, and what he did, was go out and continue to talk to the American people … People didn’t care. They knew Donald Trump was just doing locker room talk with a guy. And they dismissed it. It had no lasting impact on the campaign.”

The “60 Minutes” segment featuring Bannon’s remarks was released on Thursday. The full interview is scheduled to air September 10th on CBS.