POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Christie takes the spotlight, talks national politics

By Briana Vannozzi
Correspondent

Gov. Chris Christie came to South Brunswick to tout a TTF funded resurfacing project along Route 130, but after about five minutes on the topic at hand, it was clear he was more interested in talking about other matters.

“I will tell you I’ve been listening to Donald Trump for 15 years and nothing that Jim Comey put in his memo this morning, or yesterday rather, on his testimony shocked me to hear coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth,” Christie said.

As former FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill this morning, Gov. Christie, for the second day in a row, came to President Trump’s defense over conversations between the two men surrounding an investigation into Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn.

“What I read, Jim Comey said in his testimony, was that the president said to him, I hope you can see your way clear to letting Flynn go because Fynn’s a good guy. That’s not an order. Donald Trump knows how to give an order, believe me. He knows how to give an order, I’ve seen him do it,” said Christie.

After appearing on MSNBC yesterday, Christie’s remarks about Trump’s lack of inside Washington etiquette came under fire.

“They elected an outsider president. They elected someone who had never been inside government, and quite frankly didn’t spend a lot of time interacting with government except at a local level. And so, the idea of the way the tradition of these agencies is not something that he’s ever been steeped in. So I think over the course of time, and we could talk about different examples, what you’re seeing is a president who is now very publicly learning about the way people react to what he considers to be normal New York City conversation,” Christie said.

Christie’s been back in the national spotlight as of late. Ever since president trump announced he’ll appoint Christopher Wray as the new FBI director. Wray is the same attorney Christie retained as personal counsel during the Bridgegate scandal and the same attorney who held on to the governor’s cellphone, keeping it from public view during the investigation.

“I don’t care what they do with it. As far as I’m concerned, they can throw it out if they want, it doesn’t matter to me. I have no need for it any longer. He still has it, his firm still has it more accurately. I’m sure it’s not sitting in his top desk drawer. But the most important thing is that all the information that was appropriately requested either by Gibson Dunn during their internal investigation, or the U.S. attorney’s office during when they were conducting their investigation, was negotiated with Mr. Wray as my counsel and was turned over to them in an appropriate way. And so this whole idea that some folks in the media want to make about a mystery of the cellphone, there was never any mystery about it,” Christie said.

And when asked if he’d lend his company to the lieutenant governor on the campaign trail, Christie made his role clear.

“I don’t have any interest in being any more of a factor than the lieutenant governor wants me to be in terms of stumping with her. And quite frankly she invited me to election night, primary election night, and I declined. And the reason I declined was because I said you don’t want me there that night. You want the spotlight completely on you, not on me,” he said.

As far as the actual purpose for today’s event, Christie anticipates submitting his TTF spending plan for fiscal year 2018 to the legislature tomorrow.