Chris Christie lambasts former President Trump as ‘Putin’s puppet’ during CNN town hall
In a CNN town hall on Tuesday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused former President Donald Trump of being a “puppet of Putin.” Christie, who was once one of Trump’s closest allies, criticized Trump’s handling of Russia and his alleged coziness with Putin.
“He was a president who did not understand the geopolitical significance of standing up to that aggression,” Christie said, referring to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “Donald Trump was a puppet of Putin, and it was clear to me and others in the administration that that was the case.”
This isn’t the first time Christie has criticized Trump. In fact, Christie was one of the first high-profile Republicans to speak out against Trump after he lost the 2020 presidential election. Christie has also been critical of Trump’s conduct before and during the January 6th Capitol riot, which Christie has called “a mob trying to overtake the Capitol.”
During the town hall, Christie also spoke about the divisions within the Republican Party between the establishment and the Trump wing. Christie argued that the party needs to focus on winning elections, not loyalty to one person or ideology.
“We’re chasing our tail here,” he said. “Winning is what matters. If we don’t win elections, nothing else matters.”
Christie’s comments come amid ongoing tension within the GOP over Trump’s role in the party. While some Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump, others have continued to embrace him and his populist ideology. The former president is still a powerful force within the party, and many Republicans remain loyal to him and his agenda.
Despite his criticism of Trump, Christie has not ruled out a run for president in 2024. Christie was a candidate in the 2016 Republican primaries, but dropped out after a poor showing in early contests. However, he remains a well-known figure within the party and could be a strong contender in a crowded field.
Regardless of his political future, Christie’s comments are sure to further inflame tensions within the GOP. Trump’s supporters have been highly critical of anyone who speaks out against the former president, and Christie’s criticism is likely to draw a strong response from Trump and his allies.
In the end, though, it remains to be seen whether Christie’s criticism will have any lasting impact on Trump’s influence within the Republican Party. Despite the ongoing backlash against Trump, he remains a popular figure among many Republicans, and his influence is likely to be felt for years to come.