Chris Christie calls conduct alleged in Trump indictment "awful"
Chris Christie, a Republican presidential candidate and former New Jersey governor, called former President Trump's alleged conduct in the federal indictment related to his handling of classified documents after leaving office "inexcusable."
Driving the news: Christie said at a CNN town hall in New York on Monday evening, on the eve of Trump's arraignment in Miami, that Trump was a "loser" whose lies about the 2020 election being stolen were "the most destructive thing he's done."
- He added that if Trump's elected president in 2024 he "will care less about the country this time than he did four years ago."
The big picture: Christie was once a close ally of Trump and helped him prepare to debate President Biden during the 2020 campaign. But he's since become a fierce critic of the former president, calling him a "coward" and "puppet of Putin."
Zoom in: Christie said he agreed with former Attorney General Bill Barr's assessment of the 37 federal counts in the indictment, after the Trump administration AG told "Fox News Sunday" that the details were "very damning."
- "It is a very tight, very evidence-laden indictment," Christie told CNN's Anderson Cooper at the town hall. "The conduct in there is awful."
- Christie questioned what Trump was doing with the documents. "Did someone remind him he's not the president anymore? You don’t need these things anymore," he said. "This is vanity run amok, Anderson. Run amok. Ego run amok."
Of note: Christie said he believed "there will guaranteed be a lot more" evidence than presented in the indictment in the weeks to come.
- "When you're a prosecutor, you never put every card on the table before the trial," he said.
The other side: "Chris Christie should look at his own disturbing and abhorrent behavior before even thinking about talking about someone else," Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in an emailed statement on Monday night.
More from Axios:
- Trump's survive-the-unsurvivable plan
- Trump proclaims his "final battle" after federal indictment
- Trump indictment amplifies split between House and Senate GOP
- New criminal charges haven't changed Republicans’ view of Trump, polls say
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.