Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie accused his prime rival Donald Trump and his family of “grifting” and claimed that the former president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner used his appointment as a senior adviser on the Middle East just for the purpose of doing business.
Former New Jersey governor Christie spoke with CNN on Wednesday and claimed Kushner was superfluous to the Trump administration’s handling of Middle East issues.
Christie referred to $2 billion that was invested in Kushner’s private equity firm shortly after he left his White House position in 2020.
Trump appointed Kushner as a senior adviser on the Middle East and he traveled to the region several times, including meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kushner was instrumental in negotiating the Abraham Accords — the normalization agreements Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in 2020.
“Jared Kushner, six months after he leaves the White House, gets 2 billion dollars from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund,” Christie said. “What was Jared Kushner doing in the Middle East? We had Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo as secretaries of state, we didn’t need Jared Kushner. He was put there to make those relationships and then he cashed in on those relationship when he left the office.”
“The Trump family have been involved in grifting for quite some time,” he said.
Christie: What was Jared Kushner doing in the Middle East? We had Tillerson and Pompeo… We didn’t need Kushner. He was put there to make those relationships and he cashed in on the relationships when he left the office. pic.twitter.com/0N9k7GffBD
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 29, 2023
Christie also commented on recent claims that Trump is using campaign donations to fund his legal fees.
Asked why he thinks Trump is not using his own money to pay for the costs Christie responded “because he is the cheapest person I have ever met in my life. That’s why.”
“What he’s very good at is spending other people’s money,” said Christie, whose rivalry with Trump has become increasingly acrimonious.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump has diverted part of his political donations to his Save America PAC, which in the past has paid some of the former president’s legal fees.
In April, the Times reported that the UAE and Qatar added hundred of millions more dollars to the billions already deposited by Saudi Arabia in Kushner’s equity firm.
Earlier this month Trump was charged with mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate after secret files were found there after he had left office.
The case adds to deepening legal jeopardy for Trump, who has already been indicted in New York for falsifying business records and faces additional investigations in Washington and Atlanta that also could lead to criminal charges.
As the prosecution moves forward, it will pit Trump’s claims of sweeping executive power against Attorney General Merrick Garland’s oft-stated mantra that no person, including a former commander in chief, should be regarded as above the law.