Former Governor of New Jersey, and longtime personal friend of President Donald Trump, Chris Christie reveals in his new book how Trump thought that he would end "this Russia thing."
Let Me Finish, which has been obtained ahead of publication by the New York Times, provides more insight into the seemingly hectic Trump White House, and into the mind of the president. In the book, Christie writes about candidate Trump and President Trump.
The candidate, although surrounded by wrong people, is effective and capable. The president, prone to lashing out at those he doesn't like and trusting those that he should not, often relies on the advice of family members. Donald Trump's son-in-law and White House Adviser Jared Kushner is described as a shadow chief of staff, and as someone who often gives misleading advice to the president, while working against staffers that he perceives as enemies.
In Let Me Finish, Christie writes about an anecdote pertaining to the Russia collusion saga. According to Christie, on February 14, 2017 -- one day after Trump fired his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying about contacts with the Russian ambassador -- the former governor and his wife had lunch scheduled with the president. Jared Kushner attended as well.
"This Russia thing is all over now, because I fired Flynn," Trump said during lunch. Governor Christie laughed, he writes, but once he realized that the president was indeed serious about having ended "this Russia thing" he told Trump, "Sir, this Russia thing is far from over."
"What do you mean? Flynn met with the Russians. That was the problem. I fired Flynn. It's over," Trump said.
"That's right, firing Flynn ends the whole Russia thing," Kushner agreed with the president.According to Christie, it was "naive" to think that firing Flynn would make "this Russia thing" go away. But according to the governor, although firing Flynn clearly did not solve the president's problems, Trump did not collude with Russia. The campaign was too disorganized to "run a Tom Clancy operation."
According to the New York Times, in Let Me Finish Christie describes another side of Donald Trump, a side the public has not really had the chance to see. Behind closed doors, according to Christie, Donald Trump is a different person, especially when it comes to his adult children whom he is often worried about.
"I think people draw him in very, very stark colors, and I don't think that that's who he is. I think there's a lot more nuance to it," Chris Christie told the NYT.