Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he does not believe President Trump will slash funding for drug treatment efforts across the country.
The White House is considering nearly zeroing out funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy while ramping up a new presidential task force on heroin addiction led by Christie.
Speaking with ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos about the proposed cuts, the governor said he has “good reason to believe it’s not going to happen,” but declined to say why.
Christie also defended the Republican-backed American Health Care Act, which passed the House last week. Critics have pointed to the bill’s steep cuts to Medicaid, a prime source of funding for drug-treatment programs. But Christie said the bill empowers governors to make more decisions about health care coverage in their states and added that despite some reservations, the U.S. Senate still has to weigh in and possibly amend the legislation. “I don’t think this is a final product,” Christie said.
The governor also commented on the news that Trump was warned by former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former president Barack Obama’s administration against appointing Michael Flynn to his former post as national security adviser. Trump said he dismissed Flynn for misleading Vice President Pence about Flynn’s contacts with the Russia during the presidential campaign.
Christie said he was not aware of Flynn’s Russian ties, which Yates said left him vulnerable to blackmail from Moscow.
“He was not always my cup of tea in terms of style, and I made that clear to the candidate at the time, but not red flags concerning something as specific as that,” said Christie, who ran the president’s White House transition team during the campaign.
“I think in the end, what really matters is that the president acted decisively, very early in the administration, to get rid of General Flynn. I was with him the next day and I told him I thought it was the right decision.”