GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie offered a sharp personal attack on former President Donald Trump and his family, blasting his one-time ally as a “bad person” and comparing Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to Hunter Biden, in an exclusive sitdown with The Post.
Kushner netted billions of dollars in investment from Saudi Arabia just weeks after leaving the White House — drawing comparisons from Christie to the disgraced first son.
“I think that clearly trading on the influence of a member of your family is the one area where it seems like there are some similarities,” former NJ Gov. Christie said.
Charles Kushner, 69, spent 14 months in federal prison on charges of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign contributions.
The charges sprung from an investigation by Christie — then serving as the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey.
Bad feelings lingered between the younger Kushner and Christie, even as both men became key Trump advisors, Christie said.
“He tried to make it as awkward as he could. He just wanted to criticize me for my prosecution of his father in front of his father-in-law,” Christie recalled.
Christie said Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump sought to undermine him “on an everyday basis” — and that Kushner consistently had the president’s ear and was the true power in the White House.
“Jared was the chief of staff for all four years. Regardless of who had the title, Jared was the chief of staff,” Christie said, discounting the four men who actually served in the post during Trump’s presidency.
When asked if he thought Trump was a good person, Christie told The Post “no.” When asked if he would want his son to grow up to be like Trump, Christie said “no.”
In his second stab at the White House, Christie is charting a similar course to his politically-incorrect take-no-prisoners 2016 primary campaign — a lane in which Trump ultimately outflanked him.
Other GOP contenders have treated the former president gingerly, but Christie has gone for the jugular, blasting Trump as a “lonely self-consumed, self-serving, mirror hog” in his campaign launch where he also savaged “the grift” of the Trump family.
Christie said he hasn’t spoken to the younger Kushner since before the 2020 election — except for a chance encounter at Ristorante MV in Bernardsville, N.J., in the summer of 2021 or 2022. Kushner sent him some wine.
For Christie, his broadsides against Trump bring him back full circle to the 2016 campaign, when he regularly savaged the billionaire — before dropping out of the race and giving him a critical endorsement before Super Tuesday.
He later served as chairman of Trump’s transition team.
“There is no one better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump,” he gushed at the time.
Christie said he didn’t regret those words — but promised there wouldn’t be a 2024 redux.
If Trump emerged as the 2024 nominee, Christie said he would not support him — or anyone.
“I probably just wouldn’t vote,” he said.
Like all Republicans, he had sharp words for President Biden, who he said was “out of his depth,” and raised questions about his mental fitness.
“He can’t do the job. Now, whether or not he’s got dementia or he’s got Alzheimer’s or what he’s got, I’m not a doctor and I can’t diagnose it,” Christie said. “But I can just tell you that we are saying that Vladimir Putin is losing the war in Iraq, you know, that tells me that there’s there’s some problems there. And certainly he’s not fit to serve another term.”
Christie is considerably slimmer than when he was elected governor in 2010 thanks in-part to gastric bypass surgery he underwent in 2013. At one point he was estimated to weigh more than 320 pounds.
“I still have kept off 60% of the weight that I lost at the time. So given my history with gaining and losing weight, that’s a win,” he said — declining to get into specifics.
“I don’t talk about numbers. Me and my wife are the only two people to talk about that. You know, she sleeps with me. She has a right to know. Nobody else does,” he said.
As president, Christie said his first priority would be the nation’s overdose crisis — addressing the flow of illegal drugs at the border and creating better avenues for treatment.
The former governor sought to chart a more moderate course on several hot-button GOP issues than some of the conservative fire-breathers in the race.
He said he opposed laws that would outlaw gender reassignment surgery for minors and that while he believed Hunter Biden was “undercharged,” he would not promise to appoint an Attorney General who would empower a Special Counsel to probe further.He has pledged to keep the much-maligned FBI Director Christopher Wray on the job.
Christie said it was “most likely,” that coronavirus was man-made and escaped from a laboratory, but he demurred on whether he would seek to outlaw the engineering of similarly deadly viruses.
In a game of word association, Christie branded China as “evil,” and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “crazy.”
Christie called Bridgegate — a scandal that involved top Christie aides allegedly colluding to create traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge as political payback — a “mistake.” Election fraud? “Nonexistent in 2020.”