MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace whacked former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday for standing by President Donald Trump during the 2016 election and his first term despite the president’s reliably repugnant behavior.
The tension was palpable on yesterday’s Deadline White House as Wallace reamed Christie – a possible candidate for president in 2024 – for having stood by silently for four years.
“It is my sense, and I know you said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, you haven’t ruled out a run in 2024. I don’t remember you coming out and forcefully pushing back against Donald Trump’s comments on the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape. I didn’t hear you, after he called African nations ‘bleep-hole nations.’ I didn’t hear you distance yourself from this president at any point until the target for his ire and lawlessness was the democracy you haven’t ruled out leading in four years,” Wallace charged. “Are you simply making a political calculation that you could clean the Trump stink off you faster than Marco Rubio or some of the other competitors?”
Christie, who ran against Trump in 2015 for the Republican presidential nomination, denied Wallace’s assertions, insisting that Trump – in spite of all his corruption, criminal misdeeds, and incompetence – was still a better person to lead the country than was Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s nominee:
No, I’m not, Nicolle, and in fact, at the end of it, I made a decision back in 2016 that the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was one where I was with Donald Trump. I don’t regret that choice, I still don’t regret it today. I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton today, if that choice were to be made. So, uh, that’s not what I’m saying. But what I am saying is that, you know, I evaluate these things one at a time.
Christie said, for example, that he was upset over how Trump (with whom he “has been friends for 20 years”), treated Jeff Sessions, the administration’s first attorney general whom Trump fired via tweet in November 2018, and Christopher Wray, the FBI director:
I was a very vocal critic of what he had to say about Jeff Sessions, even though I think Jeff Sessions was a horribly flawed attorney general. But I don’t think you can treat somebody like that. I’ve been very open and critical about the president and the way he’s spoken about Chris Wray, and Chris Wray’s leadership of the FBI, which I think has been so much better than what Jim Comey did, and really exemplary. Chris Wray has shown the kind of integrity that he has in leading the FBI. And so there were plenty of times where I’ve spoken, believe me, because I’ve gotten the angry phone calls from people in the White House, I’m telling you that they didn’t like what I said.
Christie then claimed that he would have made more of a fuss about Trump’s inappropriate conduct but he was too busy doing whatever.
“So, you can pick out ones where you believe I didn’t speak out, and you’re right, I didn’t say things about that. And um, but other things were motivating me at that time,” Christie continued. “But when I felt like his conduct as president is something that I was incredibly opposed to, that I thought was very important for our country, I spoke out.”
Watch below via MSNBC:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.