Specifically, it’s a fear of prison as the former president faces a 37-count federal indictment in Florida for his alleged mishandling of classified documents as well as more potential charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“He’s scared,” Christie told the New York Times over the weekend. “Look, a guy like him, the last place you ever want to be in life is in jail because you give up all control, and he’s a complete control freak.”
Trump in newly revealed audio can be heard bragging that he kept classified documents after leaving the White House and knowing that they were still classified.
The former president has since claimed those comments were just “bravado.”
In other words, he was lying on the audio to make people think he still had those documents.
Christie told the Times there’s a specific reason for Trump to make that claim.
“[F]or Donald Trump, it is better to be called a liar than to go to jail,” Christie said. “If what it buys him is a get-out-of-jail-free card, he’ll take that trade every day.”
Christie also predicted that Trump will show up for the Republican presidential debates despite insisting that he won’t.
“His ego won’t permit him not to,” Christie said. “He can’t have a big TV show that he’s not on.”
Trump is reportedly considering “counter-programming” to draw attention away from the August event, which will be the first official debate of the presidential primary season.
Christie was one of the first prominent Republicans to endorse Trump in 2016, and remained a loyal member of Trump’s inner circle throughout his presidency, even after developing COVID-19 infection while helping Trump prepare for the 2020 debates.
Christie spent a week in the intensive care unit, and has in more recent years become increasingly critical of the former president, who is heavily favored to win the GOP nomination.
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