Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said former President Donald Trump accidentally revealed he incited the January 6 Capitol riot to intimidate Mike Pence and Congress into overturning the election.
Christie said this during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, telling host Martha Raddatz that Trump had inadvertently revealed his real goals by falsely claiming that former Vice President Mike Pence “could have overturned the election.”
Christie was responding to Trump’s false accusation in a January 31 statement that Pence “did have the right to change the outcome” of the 2020 presidential race. Pence has responded, calling Trump “wrong” for making the statement.
“Let’s face it. Let’s call it what it is. January 6 was a riot that was incited by Donald Trump in an effort to intimidate Mike Pence and the Congress into doing exactly what he said in his own words last week: Overturn the election,” Christie said.
“(Trump’s) trying to do a clean-up on aisle one here,” Christie added. “But it’s not going to change. He actually told the truth by accident. He wanted the election to be overturned.”
Christie also gave Pence his support on ABC, saying he was glad that the former vice president had finally spoken up to refute Trump’s accusations.
“I think that the action the vice president took on January 6 spoke loudly, and I’m glad he’s finally put words to it. I don’t know why it took him so long, but I’m glad that he did,” Christie said.
“Donald Trump did respond to what the vice president said, and I think it’s kind of akin to a kid standing in the corner holding his breath,” Christie added. “It’s immature, and it’s beneath the office that he held.”
Pence has been steadfast in his assertions that his certification of the 2020 election was the right thing to do. In November, Pence cited a Bible verse, saying: “Psalm 15 says he keeps his oath even when it hurts,” adding that he looked to 4th US President James Madison when certifying the vote.
On Sunday, Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, said the vice president was committed to fulfilling his constitutional role on January 6, 2021.
“I think, unfortunately, the president had many bad advisors who were basically snake-oil salesmen giving him really random and novel ideas as what the vice president could do,” Short said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Trump allies like Matt Gaetz and Steve Bannon have rallied around the former president in the wake of his comments on Pence. Bannon, in particular, called Pence a “stone-cold coward” for disagreeing with the president on whether the 2020 vote could have been overturned.
Meanwhile, Christie’s relationship with Trump remains fractured. Christie, a one-time Trump ally, has hit out at Trump on multiple occasions. In November, Christie told Trump to move on and “tell the truth” about the 2020 election.
In December, Christie berated Trump and accused him of giving him COVID-19, and also criticized Trump for the former president’s failure to fulfill policy promises. That same month, Christie also described Trump’s post-election strategy as a “Keystone Cops operation” that was “executed by C-team players.”
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