Christie advice to Trump: ‘Move on’ from Obamacare fight

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President Trump should abandon efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, given the GOP-controlled Senate’s failure even to muster enough votes to begin officially debating the issue, Gov. Christie said Tuesday in a television interview.

“I’d advise him to move on” to “other priorities like tax reform and infrastructure,” said Christie, who is a friend of Trump’s. “I’ve said that to the president for months.”

In the MSNBC interview, Christie, a Republican, also defended Donald Trump Jr.’s decision in June 2016 to meet with people who had promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow’s effort to help the Trump campaign, saying it was too early to draw conclusions about the episode.

Amid scrutiny by the news media, Trump Jr. last week released emails in which an intermediary said that a high-level Russian government official was willing to offer “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to” his father’s campaign.

In this July 11, 2017, file photo, Donald Trump Jr., left, speaks in New York. A lawyer for a Russian developer says a company representative was the eighth person at a Trump Tower meeting brokered by Donald Trump Jr. during the campaign. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

“This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” read one June 3, 2016, email from the intermediary, Rob Goldstone, to Trump Jr.

Trump Jr. replied that he would “love” to get the information and eventually met with a Russian lawyer and others with reported ties to the Kremlin on June 9. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.

Christie, who was the Trump campaign’s transition chairman at the time, said on MSNBC Tuesday that Trump Jr. was “by no means a sophisticated political actor.”

“This is a guy who loves his father,” Christie said.

Christie said Trump Jr.’s decision to take the meeting demonstrated poor judgment — but wasn’t evidence of a crime.

“It’s not a meeting … that I would have been anxious to take,” Christie said.

Congress and Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller are investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the presidential campaign.

“We can’t come to conclusions now,” Christie said.

Asked whether Trump had rewarded Christie’s loyalty during the campaign and afterward, the New Jersey governor said, “The president doesn’t owe me anything. He’s the president of the United States.”

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