Christie: Getting damaging info on political opponent from foreign government ‘probably against the law’
Chris Christie was asked to weigh in on Donald Trump Jr.’s June meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised in an email damaging information on Hillary Clinton that came from the Russian government, and while the New Jersey governor and former transition team chair admitted he believed receiving such info would probably be illegal, he also stressed that there’s no evidence to suggest Trump Jr. ever actually got his hands on the supposed dirt.
“Yeah, I think it would be,” Christie said on Monday when asked if getting oppo research from a foreign government is inappropriate. “I don’t think there’s any evidence that they did. But I do think it would be. And I think quite frankly, it’s probably against the law, in addition to being inappropriate.”
“The thing that bothers me the most is that people are jumping to conclusions,” Christie bemoaned. Yes, it’s a real shame the family that is constantly caught lying hasn’t been given the benefit of the doubt in the court of public opinion.
“My understanding of this is there’s concern by some people of collusion,” the New Jersey governer said, as if he somehow hasn’t read a single newspaper in the last eight months. “Even from what we’ve heard so far, I don’t see any evidence of that. So we need to get back to what the bottom line is here. If there’s collusion, that’s a major issue. If there isn’t, then I don’t think it is. But none of it’s positive and I’m sure that nobody in the administration thinks that was a good week.”
Indeed, so far there’s no proof Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya ever had any damaging info on Clinton to begin with. If the meeting went down exactly as Trump Jr. claimed (after a few revised statements) it really only amounts to attempted collusion with someone who had no actual capability of colluding in the first place. Nevertheless, Christie still agrees with pretty much everybody that Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort — who were also in attendance — should have disclosed the meeting.
“Now, I don’t know that Donald Trump Jr. had any obligation to come forward and say who he was meeting with at that time,” Christie said. “But certainly, those who are members of the government have an obligation to give everything, completely true and accurate.”
Trump Jr. is not a member of the administration, but Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Kushner has come under fire recently, with many wondering why he still has security clearance despite failing to disclose multiple meetings with foreign nationals on his security forms.
So at the very least, Christie agrees that if Trump Jr. had been given actual damaging info on Clinton from the Russians that would be a problem. It’s a clear departure from President Trump’s view of the whole situation: “That’s politics!”
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 17, 2017
[NJ.com | Photo: Getty]