Christie Confronted for Standing by Trump After Rape Allegation and Other Scandals

Chris Christie was for Donald Trump before he was against him. The former New Jersey governor stood by Donald Trump through scandal and controversy, and on Sunday the Republican candidate was confronted with his support of the former president, who he now opposes.

“You stood by [Trump] after he was accused of rape, after he praised Vladimir Putin repeatedly, after he was impeached. Didn’t you normalize his conduct for a long time as well?” Face the Nation host Nancy Cordes asked Christie, who is running for the GOP’s presidential nomination, on Sunday.

After Trump was accused by multiple credible women of sexual assault, Christie supported him. After Trump praised Vladimir Putin and publicly invited the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, Christie supported him. After Trump was impeached for trying to strong-arm Ukraine into manufacturing dirt on the Biden family, Christie supported him. He endorsed Trump, helped him prepare for debates against Hillary Clinton, ran Trump’s presidential transition team, and admitted in his own book that “very few people were as publicly invested in the success of Donald Trump as I was.” But now, Christie has reversed course and said at Wednesday’s GOP primary debate, “Here’s the bottom line, someone’s got to stop normalizing this conduct. Whether or not you believe that the criminal charges are right or wrong, the conduct is beneath the office of the president of the United States.”

“The conduct I’m talking about, Nancy, is the one that is the greatest threat to our country and the greatest threat to our democracy, and that was standing in front of the cameras from the White House behind the seal of the president on election night and telling people the election was stolen,” Christie said on Sunday. “And for now three years nearly, continuing to say the same thing with absolutely no proof and no evidence. That’s the problem, Nancy.”

The presidential hopeful added, “Believe me, I spoke out at the time about the things I disagreed with Donald Trump about. That’s much different than taking classified documents from the White House and hiding them for 18 months from the government, claiming you don’t have them.”

While Christie largely dodged the part of Cordes’s question about the rape allegation and Putin praise, he does deserve a tiny bit of credit for opposing him now, unlike many of Christie’s fellow Republicans who appeared alongside him during the debate.

“The most amazing part of the debate to me, was the idea that, you know, the majority of my competitors believe that you can have a convicted felon as our nominee for president and that they support that and that he could win,” Christie said Sunday on ABC’s This Week.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post gave an incorrect name to CBS interviewer Nancy Cordes.

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