Former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, who has remained a close ally of United States President Donald Trump since the 2016 election, has derided the conduct of the president’s legal team as a “national embarrassment”.
Christie, who has helped Trump prepare for debates throughout the 2016 and 2020 election seasons, said Trump’s legal team has made vast claims of fraud in news conferences, but has not backed those up in the courtroom.
Trump has refused to concede defeat in the presidential contest, and has instead focused on long-shot legal challenges and recounts in hopes of overturning the electoral victory of his opponent, Democrat Joe Biden. President-elect Biden currently has 306 electoral votes, well above the 270 electoral votes needed to win under the US Electoral College system.
“What’s happened here is, quite frankly, the content of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment,” Christie said during a panel appearance on ABC News.
“I have been a supporter of the president’s. I voted for him twice, but elections have consequences, and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen. You have an obligation to present the evidence,” he said.
Christie added that Republicans should be focusing on the two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January, which will decide which party controls the Senate.
‘Throwing rocks through windows’
Few high-profile Republicans, and even fewer Trump allies, have acknowledged Biden’s victory, with many instead offering tacit or explicit support to Trump’s unfounded claims of widespread voting fraud and voting irregularities.
However, in recent days more have broken their silence. Those include Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, who on Saturday urged Trump to accept the results.
“To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process,” Toomey said, earning a quick rebuke from Trump on Twitter.
Other prominent Senators, including Trump ally Lindsey Graham, have said Trump should allow some cooperation with Biden’s transition team, while still supporting the president’s legal challenges.
On Sunday, North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer became the most recent conservative to criticise Trump’s transition delay. However, he also defended the president’s myriad legal challenges.
Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who fell out with the president and was fired in September of 2019, also had harsh words for the president on Sunday.
In an interview with CNN, Bolton accused Trump of “throwing rocks through windows” and being “the political equivalent of a street rioter”.
Bolton added that Trump’s challenges were no longer a “legal exercise”, but had become “an exercise of raw political power”.