The Slatest

Chris Christie Calls Trump Legal Team a “National Embarrassment”

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a briefing at the White House September 27, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie listens while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during a briefing at the White House September 27, 2020, in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has long been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump. But he said it’s time for the commander in chief to throw in the towel and admit that he lost the election, characterizing the way his legal team has been acting as a “national embarrassment.” Trump has had his chance to prove claims of voter fraud but the legal challenges have gotten nowhere and it’s time for the president to acknowledge he lost, Christie said as more Republicans spoke up about the need for Trump to concede, or at the very least, begin the transition process.

During the Sunday broadcast of ABC News’ This Week, anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Christie whether it was “finally time for this to end.” The former governor didn’t hesitate. “Yes, and here’s the reason why,” Christie said. “The president has had an opportunity to access the courts, and I said to you, you know, starting at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, if you’ve got the evidence of fraud, present it. And what’s happened here is, quite frankly, the conduct of the the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment.” Christie went on to say that Trump’s lawyers talk tough in media appearances but then don’t follow that up in court. “They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom, they don’t plead fraud and they don’t argue fraud,” he said.

Christie wasn’t alone Sunday as other Republicans called on Trump to admit he lost the election. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, an anti-Trump Republican, said the president’s refusal to concede is hurting the country’s image abroad. “We were the most respected country with respect to elections, and now we’re beginning to look like we’re a banana republic,” Hogan said on CNN. “It’s time for them to stop the nonsense. It just gets more bizarre every single day, and, frankly, I’m embarrassed that more people in the party aren’t speaking up.”

Even some who weren’t quite ready to call on the president to concede still said the transition process should begin. Sen. Kevin Cramer, a staunch Trump supporter, defended the president’s legal challenges to the election but still said the transition should get started. “These are legal systems, these are processes that are in our Constitution, in our laws. And they’re not just appropriate, they’re really an obligation, frankly, to the millions of Americans that President Trump is a reflection of,” Cramer said. At the same time though, it’s “past time to start a transition, to at least cooperate with the transition,” Cramer added. “I’d rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare, should Joe Biden, you know, end up winning this.”