Dennis Van Tine/AP

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Chris Christie has a new book out, which means the former New Jersey governor—and Trump critic turned Trump ally who recently turned back again to Trump critic—is ready to put his longtime frenemy on blast. Sort of.

“An election for president was held on November 3, 2020. Joe Biden won. Donald Trump did not,” Christie says in his forthcoming book, Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden, according to the New York Times. “That is the truth. Any claim to the contrary is untrue.” 

This might sound like a strong criticism of Trump, who even before the results of the 2020 election had alleged that it would be rigged against him, but Christie has waffled in condoning and rebuking the former president. Despite saying that Trump’s election claims are false, he said in an interview with the Times‘ Maggie Haberman he would not rule out supporting a potential Trump presidential candidacy in 2024. 

After slamming Trump on the campaign trail ahead of the 2016 primaries, Christie eventually worked with him during his post-election transition and even in his debate prep ahead of the 2020 election. But he largely refrained from criticizing Trump until after the election and ensuing violence on January 6. 

In the interview with Haberman, Christie explains why he held back: “I generally agreed with the policies that he was pursuing.” When they did argue, he said, “it was rarely over policy.”

Still, Christie did blame Trump’s “rigged” rhetoric for helping induce the Capitol riot, and criticized Republicans for not moving on from the unfounded conspiracy theory. Meanwhile, Christie also didn’t rule out another presidential run of his own in 2024.

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