Trump blames Chris Christie for 'mistake' of nominating FBI director
By The Citizen on July 14, 2023
Former President Trump said it was “probably” a mistake to appoint Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, attributing the decision partly to a recommendation from former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
In an interview with Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo set to air Sunday, Trump, who rarely acknowledges making an error, was asked if it was a mistake for him to put Wray in charge of the FBI. The bureau has recently faced unrelenting criticism from Republicans, including the former president.
“Sadly, it probably was,” Trump said in an excerpt released Friday. “You know, he was recommended very strongly by Chris Christie, who is, you know, a sad case.”
Trump went on criticize Christie over his poll numbers in the GOP presidential primary, where the former New Jersey governor has typically polled in the low single digits. Christie has spent much of his campaign attacking Trump over his character, saying he is unfit to serve another term in the White House.
Wray has led the FBI since 2017, when he was appointed by Trump.
But the former president and his allies have turned sharply critical of Wray and the bureau in the wake of last August’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property as part of an investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents upon leaving the White House.
Some Republicans have called for defunding the FBI, and many on the right have alleged that the bureau is politicized and biased against conservatives.
Christie has repeatedly and publicly defended Wray, standing by his recommendation that he lead the FBI and pushing back on efforts in the House to go after Wray.
“I think Chris Wray has done a very good job,” Christie said Wednesday after the House hearing. “A lot of the stuff you see today … is theater, that people are trying to raise money for campaigns. Doesn’t mean there aren’t problems at the FBI — there are. But I believe Chris is a guy who can get it fixed, and he’s fixed a lot of them already.”
Christie and Wray have known each other for more than 20 years, from serving in the Justice Department together to Christie hiring Wray as his personal attorney to defend him during the BridgeGate scandal in 2014, when the former New Jersey governor and his allies were accused of creating a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge in order to cause problems for the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J.