Flynn has been a central figure in the controversy surrounding the White House
Christie said Flynn wasn't his "cup of tea"
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on Monday that if it were up to him, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn never would have had a White House job.
After ending his own presidential bid in 2016, Christie was one of the first major Republican figures to endorse Donald Trump and served as the head of his transition team before being replaced by Vice President Mike Pence after the election.
“I think it’s safe to say that General Flynn and I didn’t see eye-to eye,” Christie told reporters at a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey. “I didn’t think that he was someone who would bring benefit to the President or to the administration, and I made that very clear to candidate Trump, and I made it very clear to President-elect Trump.”
Trump fired Flynn as national security adviser less than a month after taking office and 18 days after then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House about Flynn’s potential vulnerability to Russian blackmail.
Flynn is reportedly the subject of a criminal inquiry, and CNN reported earlier this month that federal prosecutors in Virginia issued grand jury subpoenas to his associates.
A source told CNN on Monday that Flynn planned to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in the face of a subpoena from the Senate intelligence committee.
Interactive: The many paths from Trump to Russia
Christie said he had no “need to feel vindicated,” but also said he would have acted differently than Trump had.
“If I were president-elect of the United States, I wouldn’t let General Flynn into the White House, let alone give him a job,” Christie said.
Claiming Flynn was simply not his “cup of tea,” Christie disputed reports that the two had gotten into altercations during intelligence briefings.
Christie also reiterated a comment he has made in the past about who’s to blame for the controversy surrounding the administration.
“I think the President could be better served than he’s been served,” Christie said. “I think that that leads to a lot of the confusion and a lot of the tumult, and I think there’s a breathless kind of press coverage of this administration like none I’ve ever seen before, and I think there’s also the President’s own approach on social media, etc., that tend to make it more difficult to have a coordinated approach to public communication.”
CNN’s Jennifer Feldman contributed to this report.