- David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
- President Donald Trump thought that the “Russia thing” would end when he fired his national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to Chris Christie.
- The former New Jersey governor has reportedly written in a coming book that both Trump and Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, thought removing Flynn in February 2017 would end scrutiny over the Trump campaign and Russia.
- Now, nearly two years later, the investigation by the special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election meddling and any links between the Trump campaign and Russia is still dominating US political news.
- After pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, Flynn is due for sentencing in March. Mueller’s investigation released its latest indictment, of the Trump ally Roger Stone, on Friday.
President Donald Trump confidently said “this Russia thing is all over now” when he fired his national security adviser Michael Flynn at the start of 2017, former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has reportedly written in a coming memoir.
Trump fired Flynn almost two years ago, but the move did little to keep scrutiny of Trump’s relationship with Russia from dominating large parts of the news cycle ever since.
According to The New York Times, in “Let Me Finish,” a book scheduled for release on Tuesday, Christie said that Trump told him at the time: “This Russia thing is all over now, because I fired Flynn.”
Christie wrote that he laughed at the comment, a reaction he said appeared to puzzle Trump, according to The Times.
Trump is said to have responded: “What do you mean? Flynn met with the Russians. That was the problem. I fired Flynn. It’s over.”
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, apparently backed up the president. “That’s right, firing Flynn ends the whole Russia thing,” Christie reportedly quoted Kushner as saying.
Nearly two years later, investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and any contact between the Trump campaign and Russia have continued.
As recently as Friday, the former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone was indicted on charges of obstruction, false statements, and witness tampering by the special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russia investigation.
Mueller’s investigation has resulted in several indictments and guilty pleas, including a guilty plea from Flynn.
Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to the FBI when interviewed for the Russia investigation.
His sentencing has been delayed until March, as prosecutors said it was possible he would cooperate more with the investigation.
After dropping out of the 2016 presidential race, Christie was an early supporter of Trump, campaigning for him and eventually leading Trump’s transition team.
But the high-profile Republican did tell Trump in December that he was not interested in being his chief of staff.
- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
In his book, Christie reportedly said Kushner told him he was “crazy” for thinking they would still be talking about the Russia issue in 2018.
In an interview with The Times, Christie said he did not believe Flynn was fired over the Russia investigation – Trump has said the firing was because Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his Russia contacts.
He also said he never saw any evidence of collusion with Russia and did not believe Flynn should have been fired in the first place.