Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responded Tuesday to claims that the revelations in his new book are “inappropriate” -- and took a swipe at former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, calling him a “bad guy.”
Christie was speaking on Fox News’ Radio’s “Brian Kilmeade Show” and responded to criticism from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has accused Christie of betraying Trump’s trust, with revelations in Christie’s new book: "Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics.”
“The president doesn't like people who violate his trust, I don’t either. I like Chris, he’s a friend and I respect him but I think when people go out and they take things they've learned in private and in secret and they betray the trust of someone who gave them confidence, I just think that's wrong and to profit off that is not appropriate,” Huckabee said last week.
Christie, whose book was released Tuesday, shrugged off the criticism and said he was disappointed that Huckabee, whom he describes as a friend, reacted to excerpts from the book without reading the whole thing.
“I wish he would have given me a little more benefit of the doubt and actually seen the book before he condemned me and it,” he said. "And I think Mike is going to owe me a big apology when he reads the book.”
He also said that, since he has a lot of respect for Huckabee, he will accept that apology if Huckabee makes it.
Christie, according to extracts of the book, accuses Trump of trusting “people he shouldn’t” and has particularly targeted adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner -- whom he has accused of going after him in retaliation for Christie’s role in the prosecution of Kushner’s father more than a decade ago.
“I did everything I could to make sure my friend Donald reached the White House fully prepared to serve. But a handful of selfish individuals sidetracked our very best efforts. They set loose toxic forces that have made Trump’s presidency far less effective than it would otherwise have been,” an extract obtained by Axios reads. “If this tragedy is ever going to be reversed, it is vital that everyone know exactly how it occurred.”
In the interview with Kilmeade, Christie also took shots at Bannon, the former chief strategist, and called him a “bad guy.”
“Arrogant, I say in the book that he’s the only guy who can look pretentious and like an unmade bed at the same time,” he told Kilmeade.
But despite the dour assessment in at least parts of the book, Christie said Trump can be effective in the next two years if he gets better people around him.
“He’s got to get better people around him, and he’s got to be willing to delegate more authority to people, to let them do things for him to help him,” he said. “If he does that, because when he’s running for re-election he’s not going to be able to do all this on his own, and so he needs to focus.”
He also said it was “unlikely” that he would join the administration, but added: “I never say never.”