Governor Christie says he had serious concerns about President Trump's transition after the hiring of General Mike Flynn. Christie spoke at a press conference in Trenton on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
Amy Newman / Northjersey.com
Christie also said he thinks his opposition during the transition to appointing retired Army Gen Michael Flynn, national security adviser, was an "important reason" for his overthrow last year, three days after Trump won the presidency in an altercation by the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
During the same press conference where he was asked by Flynn, Christie extended a dispute with his Democratic successor, Phil Murphy, over the authenticity of a document provided by his transition team on confidentiality agreements.
Flynn was fired in a month, apparently because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence, who had replaced Christie as transition president, about his talks with the Russian ambassador.
Special Attorney Robert Mueller's investigation has been a constant distraction in Washington, DC, for months and hovered over a first-year president with no prior policy experience. In addition to Flynn's plea of guilty, in which he agreed to cooperate with Mueller's office, the investigation has thrown two accusations against former campaign officials and another guilty plea from a former foreign policy adviser.
Christie was an early supporter of Trump and spent nearly six months leading the transition, along with his former chief of staff Rich Bagger. But Christie has not been touched by the Russian scandal and said on Wednesday he was not interviewed by Mueller's office.
But Flynn's admission of guilt to the special adviser investigating the possibility of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, he said, is an example of the mistakes the incoming administration made in casting aside Christie.
"I think what the people who were involved in that transition now learned painfully at the expense of the country is that experience matters," Christie said. "The president's campaign was based on being a stranger who was going to come to Washington and change things, that's fine, okay, I agree with that, but you can not run a transition like a stranger. He understands what needs to be done. "
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