Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie managed to enrage former President Donald Trump during debate prep last year ahead of his matchups with President Joe Biden by asking about his eldest daughter, a new book claims.
In Betrayal, published this week, Jonathan Karl describes a scene that played out ahead of the late September debate between the two presidential candidates.
Karl reports that Mr Christie played Mr Biden in a mock debate with Mr Trump, during which he gave what the former governor thought would be Mr Biden’s most likely response to criticism of Mr Biden’s son Hunter and unproven allegations that then Democrat used his position in government to aid his son’s career.
“You have real nerve talking about relatives taking advantage of political power. You’ve invited your daughter and son-in-law into the White House and they made $36 million last year while they were doing the people’s business,” Mr Christie shot back at Mr Trump, still in character as Mr Biden.
He added: “Your family traded the influence they have in the White House to make tens of millions of dollars.”
The suggestion reportedly enraged Mr Trump, who responded: “That’s absolutely untrue! We’ve lost money here,” according to Karl.
“We’ve lost money here. My children are losing money being here. Jared [Kushner] has sacrificed more than anyone being away from his business. He hasn’t made any kind of money,” he said.
The former president soon insisted that the mock debate shift topics, telling Mr Christie and others in the room: "I don't want to hear any more. I know what they're going to say. Enough. Let's move on."
Mr Christie defended his remarks to the former president, according to Karl, by explaining that it was his duty to accurately portray how personal the criticism of Mr Trump’s management of the White House could get thanks to his decision to pull family members into the administration.
The presence of Mr Kushner and Ms Trump in the White House was long condemned by independent ethics experts, including Ms Trump’s presence on Twitter as a surrogate for her father’s re-election bid while also serving as a White House official.
Mr Trump frequently accused the media throughout 2020 of ignoring Hunter Biden’s supposed various misdeeds (including his public struggle with drug addiction), despite no clear evidence ever being uncovered to prove that Mr Biden aided his son’s career improperly in any way.
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