On Sunday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appeared on ABC News to condemn President Donald Trump and his legal team for their challenges to the 2020 presidential election results. Christie spoke out as an avid supporter, saying that he voted for Trump both in 2016 and 2020. Still, he said that the lawsuits had become "a national embarrassment."
"Listen, I've been a supporter of the president, I voted for him twice, but elections have consequences and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen," Christie said to ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos. "They allege fraud outside of the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom they don't plead fraud, and they don't argue fraud. You have an obligation to present the evidence; the evidence has not been presented."
“Yes,” Chris Christie tells @GStephanopoulos when asked if it’s time for President Trump to stop challenging the 2020 election results, adding that the president’s legal team has been a “national embarrassment.” https://t.co/9HKDetYpa5 pic.twitter.com/zuGivUyqYo— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 22, 2020
So far, no election officials, investigators or other parties have found any evidence of widespread voter fraud or election tampering whatsoever, yet the Trump campaign insists that such evidence exists. Trump and his team have not made any of this evidence public, or even explained rationally what it might be or why they might be hiding it. To Christie — and many other Americans — this "must mean the evidence doesn't exist."
"Quite frankly, the conduct of the President's legal team has been a national embarrassment," Christie went on. He came down particularly hard on attorney Sidney Powell for making bizarre allegations against Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Powell appeared on Newsmax TV on Saturday, claiming with no evidence that Kemp was involved in an alleged scheme to bribe public officials to manipulate election results. "This is outrageous conduct by any lawyer," Christie said.
Many qualified, credible sources have spoken out against Trump in recent weeks, calling on him to stop peddling conspiracy theories about the election and contributing to national panic. However, some pundits have been dismayed by the number of established Republicans who have stood by the president, including senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. For Christie to condemn the president's actions is a considerable blow.
Christie has been not only a supporter of Trump but a friend and confidant at times. As recently as September, Christie met with Trump privately to help him prepare for the first presidential debate against President-elect Joe Biden.
As the weeks since Biden's election victory drag on, the tone of the criticism of Trump's refusal to concede is growing more and more urgent. In an open letter on Thursday, Democratic lawmakers feared that this contentious transition could have "grave effects" on American democracy as a whole.