NJ Politics Digest: Christie Reacts to Cohen Testimony

Christie noted that House Republicans spent their time attacking Cohen's credibility but never attempted to defend the president from his former fixer's allegations.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon

Former Gov. Chris Christie has never been one to hold back, and he certainly didn’t on Wednesday as he analyzed the performance of Republican lawmakers during the Michael Cohen testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill.

“The interesting thing is that there hasn’t been one Republican yet who’s tried to defend the president on the substance,” Christie told George Stephanopoulos in a clip from ABC This Week.

Christie, an early Trump supporter who was later ousted from his post as head of Trump’s presidential transition, noted that House Republicans at the hearing spent their time attacking Cohen’s credibility, but never defended the president from his former fixer’s allegations. Instead, the Republicans seemed more concerned with discrediting Cohen than they did with asking him questions of substance relating to the investigations into President Donald Trump’s possible crimes. Christie said their behavior reflects either a failure on the part of White House or Republican staff to plan a strategy to counter the testimony.

“They knew what was coming with Michael Cohen,” he said.

Christie, who in his new book criticizes Trump’s inner circle at the White House as either being unprepared, “grifters” or “weaklings,” refrained from criticizing the president. Of Trump, who is at a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Christie said, “He’s sitting Vietnam right now fuming…that no one’s defending him.”

Michael Cohen—Trump’s former personal attorney—will serve a three-year prison sentence beginning in May for lying to Congress, tax evasion and campaign violations. Christie said that while Cohen is not a credible witness, he does have corroboration for many of his claims.

Quote of the Day: “I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t come into a position of leadership that doesn’t bring a proven team with them,” — Lizette Delgado-Polanco, chief executive of the state Schools Development Authority, on reports she fired longtime employees at the agency and replaced many of them with people with whom she has close ties.

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NJ Politics Digest: Christie Reacts to Cohen Testimony