The transition team announced Pence’s new role as chairman in a statement Friday afternoon, where they also named vice chairs of the team’s executive committee: Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
The current chief of staff to Sessions, Rick Dearborn, will also join the transition team as executive director.
“Together this outstanding group of advisors, led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will build on the initial work done under the leadership of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from day one,” Trump said in the statement.
After the transition shakeup, Christie said in a statement that he was “proud to have the pre-election phase” of the operation, praising the “thoroughly professional and dedicated team of people.”
“As we now enter the post-election phase, I look forward to working with Vice-President Elect Pence and the rest of the leadership team,” he said.
Other notable members of the transition team’s executive committee include three of Trump’s children (Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka, all prominently involved with his campaign), his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his campaign’s chief executive officer Steve Bannon, who once headed up the Breitbart website.
Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus and several GOP legislators are on the committee. Peter Thiel, billionaire PayPal founder and prominent Trump backer, will also serve on the team.
As CBS News’ Major Garrett reports from senior Trump sources, the leadership switch means Pence will supervise the final vetting and recommendations to Trump on every cabinet secretary and Senate-confirmable position in his government.
Pence will not make all the recommendations on top White House staff assignments. Instead, Pence and Trump will collaborate on those choices.
Pence will provide recommendations, while Trump makes the final decision in all cases.
All vice-chairs are in line for top administration posts, according to sources.