Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie took aim at the business dealings of frontrunner Donald Trump’s daughter and her husband, accusing them of large-scale grifting.
The former New Jersey governor announced his candidacy in Manchester, New Hampshire on Tuesday at a low-key gathering where he laid out his vision. As he has done for some time, the ex-Trump supporter criticized the former president, saying he “made us smaller by dividing us even further.” That earned him a rebuke from Trump on social media.
During his announcement, Christie slammed Ivanka Kushner and Jared Kushner, both of whom served as advisers in the Trump White House. (Yes, it’s Ivanka Kushner now.)
Axios National Correspondent Alex Thompson posted video of Christie’s remarks on Tuesday night.
“Let me tell you something, everybody,” he said. “The grift from this is breathtaking. It’s breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House and months later get $2 billion from the Saudis? Two billion dollars from the Saudis. You think it’s ’cause some kind of investing genius? Or do you think it’s because he was sitting next to the president of the United States for four years doing favors for the Saudis?”
Six months after exiting the White House, Kushner’s company received a $2 billion investment from a fund helmed by the Saudi crown prince despite objections from the fund’s advisers.
“That’s your money,” he continued. “That’s your money he stole – and gave it to his family. You know what that makes us? A banana republic. That’s what it makes us.”
Christie was the first 2016 presidential candidate to drop out and endorse Trump. Despite this, the former governor was shut out of the Trump administration.
When he was U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christie oversaw the prosecution of Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to “18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations.”
Trump pardoned the elder Kushner in 2020, long after he completed his sentence.
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