Chris Christie attacks Trump for using donations from ‘everyday Americans’ on legal fees, fashion designer


Fmr. NJ Gov. Chris Christie: Trump will 'probably be out on bail' by the time we get to debates

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday railed against former President Donald Trump for using donations to his political operation to help pay his myriad legal bills.

“Most of the money that middle-class Americans have given to him, he’s spent on his own legal fees,” Christie said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Christie, a Republican presidential candidate who has distinguished himself as Trump’s fiercest critic in the primary field, said that the billionaire former president could simply sell one of his planes, buildings or golf courses to pay those bills.

“But instead he’s taking $25, $50, $100 from everyday Americans who believe they’re giving it to him to help elect him president. And he’s paying his legal fees,” Christie said.

His latest attacks followed the release of campaign finance reports from Trump’s political operation showing his PAC has spent more than $20 million on legal fees in the first six months of the year alone.

That figure accounted for two-thirds of the group’s total spending in that period, NBC News reported. Those fees likely paid for campaign services beyond just Trump’s personal legal battles. The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the situation, reported that Trump’s network of political committees has actually spent closer to $40 million on legal fees this year.

Trump has been criminally charged on dozens of counts in two separate cases since launching his 2024 presidential campaign. Manhattan prosecutors charged him in March with falsifying business records related to hush money payments made before the 2016 election to women who allege they had extramarital affairs with Trump.

In June, federal prosecutors charged Trump with 37 criminal counts in a case centered on his handling of classified records after leaving the White House in 2021. Trump received additional charges in that case last week over an alleged attempt to delete surveillance footage from his Mar-a-Lago club.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and denies the extramarital affairs.

The special counsel who led that probe is also overseeing a Trump-focused criminal investigation into efforts to interfere with the 2020 election outcome. Trump said last month that he is a target in that election probe, a sign that charges are likely forthcoming.

At the same time, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to soon reveal whether she will file charges on her state-level probe of the efforts by Trump and his allies to interfere in Georgia’s 2020 election.

“Let’s face the facts here. Donald Trump, by the time we get to the debate in three weeks, will probably be out on bail” in four different jurisdictions, Christie said.

“I don’t understand how we can’t be talking about that,” Christie said. He called out multiple other GOP candidates, including former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, for their reluctance to take on the leading candidate in the race for the nomination.

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Christie also noted that Trump’s PAC, Save America, reported spending $108,000 to Hervé Pierre, the fashion designer who has worked with former first lady Melania Trump. Those expenses are described as “strategy consulting.”

Melania Trump has stayed mostly out of sight as her husband campaigns for the 2024 presidential nomination. The New York Times reported last week that she has refused his requests to join him on the trail.

Neither the criminal charges nor Christie’s attacks have put a dent in Trump’s lead so far. Recent polls show Trump creaming his competitors, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, at the national level. A New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday found that no candidates other than Trump and DeSantis garnered more than 3% from a sample of likely Republican primary voters.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Christie’s remarks. 


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