Donald Trump’s travels to the Middle East might have been a bit much for the president, but the stress of that journey must be nothing compared to the drama going on at home.
According to Vanity Fair, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie understood the gravity of Trump’s situation enough to start warning his family members. Most notably, 36-year-old Trump advisor and son-in-law to the president, Jared Kushner.
Christie said last week that Kushner asked him whether his father should seek legal counsel on the investigation currently swirling around his administration. But later, a spokesman for Christie told press that the former governor had most certainly not discussed anything with Kushner related to the president’s seeking of counsel. White House sources confirmed that such a conversation “simply did not happen.” Both Christie and Kushner camps confirmed, however, that a phone call did take place between the two of them.
Trump and his team are deep into the process of selecting a team of attorneys to deal with ongoing Russia investigation, according to reports from The Washington Post.
Christie was a U.S. attorney before entering the governorship, and has known James Comey for over a decade. Despite this, and his obvious closeness to the Trump campaign in the months leading up to the election, he has managed to avoid commenting directly on the recent investigation. But he stopped three separate questions regarding it at a press conference in New Jersey last week, telling reporters:
‘I have humored you for long enough. I am not going to get into this, as I’ve said to you many times.’
He was interviewed again on Monday, where his lips loosened, if only slightly. When asked about Michael Flynn, the former governor replied:
‘He’s not my cup of tea… If I were president, I wouldn’t have let General Flynn in. That’s not my choice. That’s the president’s choice.’
According to a source who said that Christie had spoken about his conversation with Kushner, Christie allegedly told Trump’s son-in-law that the president “better lawyer up and keep his mouth shut.” However, Brian Murray, a spokesman for the former Trump aide responded, saying “a phone conversation taking place regarding retention of counsel is categorically false. The conversation did not happen.”
The idea that Kushner would seek advice from Christie on the ongoing investigation is a loaded one at the very least. Over a decade ago, Christie was a prosecutor on the case that sent Kushner’s father, Charles, to prison. Charles Kushner eventually pleaded guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering, and illegal campaign donations. He served his sentence, and was released from prison in 2006. The New York Times reported that Kushner was instrumental in removing Christie from his post with the Trump transition team. He also supposedly blamed Christie for preventiinng his father from being released from prison a month early.
The two have supposedly made amends, however, with Kushner having supposedly appointed Christie to head an opioid task force early in Trump’s term. The two men reportedly talk quite often.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Joe Raedle.