- Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune
Ivanka Trump once “took over” a transition team meeting led by Chris Christie last fall and essentially told Michael Flynn that he could have whatever job he wanted because of his “amazing loyalty” to her father, The New Yorker reported Monday in an extensive profile of Vice President Mike Pence.
Christie, the New Jersey governor, led the transition team before Pence replaced him. Christie was loathed by Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, who’s now a senior White House adviser, because he prosecuted Kushner’s father while he served as a US attorney.
As transition chair, Christie warned President Donald Trump not to give a high-level job to Flynn, a retired general whom President Barack Obama ousted as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The New Yorker reported that Flynn was not on any of the Christie-led transition team’s lists for government appointments because Christie considered him too risky.
Four sources told the magazine that Ivanka Trump invited Flynn to a November 11 meeting that Christie was chairing. Flynn attended with Gen. Keith Kellogg.
“Gentlemen, can I help you?” Christie reportedly asked.
Ivanka Trump, then a member of the transition’s executive council and now an assistant to the president, announced that she invited the pair, the report said. Then, as Christie tried to reclaim control of the meeting, Ivanka Trump reportedly took over – she cited Flynn’s “amazing loyalty” to her father and asked, “General, what job do you want?”
A participant in the meeting told The New Yorker that “it was like Princess Ivanka had laid the sword on Flynn’s shoulders and said, ‘Rise and go forth.'”
The magazine reported that a source close to Ivanka Trump didn’t deny the account but said her role was exaggerated.
Flynn said he would settle for national security adviser if he could not be defense secretary, the report said. Hours after the meeting, Christie was reportedly pushed out and replaced by Pence, who was not opposed to Flynn’s hiring. Roughly a week later, Trump announced Flynn would be his national security adviser.
After Trump took office, more was revealed about Flynn’s paid lobbying during the campaign on behalf of Turkish interests, and about the nature of his conversations with Russian officials during the transition period. Pence delivered some misleading statements about Flynn, who later resigned because he had misled the vice president.