What Christie, Trump spoke about during lunch meeting

WASHINGTON -- The much-anticipated lunch meeting between Gov. Chris Christie and President Donald Trump on Tuesday centered on "combating drug use" in the U.S., White House spokesman Sean Spicer said. 

Christie, a fellow Republican and longtime Trump friend and confidant, and his wife, Mary Pat Christie, met with Trump at the White House in around 12:30 p.m. Trump, a former Atlantic City casino mogul, had invited the couple to join him for lunch in Washington, D.C.

That they would talk about battling drug addiction is not a surprise: Christie has made that a key part of his platform for years and has said he would devote his final year as New Jersey's governor to the matter. Two sources also told NJ Advance Media this week that while the meeting's discussion was likely to be broad, fighting drug use was expected to be a key aspect.

But the timing of and circumstances of the lunchtime sit-down sparked intrigue because of the tumult currently facing Trump's administration and reports of Christie being possibly drafted to join the president's staff to correct its course. On Monday night, Michael Flynn resigned as President Trump's national security adviser and there has been talk that Trump may be seeking to shake up his staff. 

Christie dedicates year to tackling 'crisis of drug addiction'

Christie said during his monthly radio show Monday that even he didn't know what to expect from the meeting, especially whether Trump -- his friend of 15 years -- would want to talk about business or simply their personal lives. 

"If he wants to get my input on certain business or get my input on anything, he's never been shy to ask," Christie said. "And if he asks, I'll offer."

Christie added Monday that he does not see himself landing a job in the White House and that he plans to enter the private sector after his final year as governor is up next January. 

Speculation about Christie's future and how it relates to Trump has been rampant in recent months. Christie was passed over for vice president and U.S. attorney general in Trump's administration but revealed that he turned down multiple other posts because they were not worth ending his governorship to take. 

Sources have told NJ Advance Media that Christie and Trump have remained close and that senior White House officials speak "regularly" with the governor. 

One source noted that Kellyanne Conway, the New Jersey native who is a counselor to the president, is in charge of overseeing how Trump's administration will battle America's opioid epidemic and that she has spoken many times with Christie because of his "leadership" on the issue in the Garden State.

Christie devoted much of his State of the State address last month to battling drug addiction, rolling out a number of initiatives related to the issue. 

One is a bill that would require doctors in New Jersey to limit an initial prescription of pain-killing opioids to five days in an effort to prevent the patient from becoming addicted. The state Senate passed the measure last week, and the state Assembly is expected to follow suit Wednesday. Christie said he plans to sign the bill into law after it's approved Wednesday.

Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook

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