Trump Ally Chris Christie Slams President's Unfounded 'Fraud' Claim: 'No Basis' for It
A fellow Trump ally, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, said, "I was very distressed by what I just heard the president say"
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not mince words after President Donald Trump falsely declared a premature victory in Tuesday night’s election, arguing that the incumbent made a “bad” decision, both strategically and politically and has “no basis” to make such a statement.
Battleground states including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan have not yet been called in favor of either Trump or his Democratic opponent Joe Biden. Millions of votes across the nation have not yet been counted.
Still, that didn’t stop Trump from labeling the vote counting efforts “fraud,” a baseless claim that was met with intense criticism from both his peers and from journalists.
The Republican Christie — who has worked closely with the president and helped to advise him ahead of last month’s debates — told ABC News anchors that he was speaking as a former U.S. Attorney when criticizing Trump’s claim that ballot counting efforts were fraudulent.
“There’s just no basis to make that argument tonight. There just isn’t,” Christie said, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head. “All these votes have to be counted that are in now… Tonight, this was not the time to make this argument.”
When George Stephanopoulos interjected to suggest that Trump’s comments were a politically motivated means of “preparing the battlefield,” Christie argued that it’s “gotta be bigger than that.”
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“I disagree with what he did tonight,” Christie said. “There comes a point where you have to let the process play itself out before you judge it to have been flawed. And I think by prematurely doing things – if there is a flaw in it later, he has undercut his own credibility in calling attention to that flaw.”
He added: “It’s a bad strategic decision, it’s a bad political decision, and it’s not the kind of decision you would expect someone to make tonight who holds the position he holds.”
Meanwhile, others had similar criticisms for Trump following his brief press conference Wednesday morning, including former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
“I was very distressed by what I just heard the president say," the Republican Santorum told CNN analysts, according to The Hill. "The idea of using the word 'fraud' being committed by people counting votes is wrong. They're counting the absentee and mail-in ballots right now. And some counties have stopped counting. Why have they stopped counting? Because it's 2:48 in the morning!"