Chris Christie, CNN's Chris Cuomo agree 'there's no way to defend' Trump on Kushner's security clearance
The House Intelligence and Oversight Committees are in the beginning stages of an investigation into how President Trump's White House handles security clearances. After The New York Times and The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that Trump had personally overruled intelligence officials and his staff to give Jared Kushner top-secret clearance, House Democrats focused on Kushner being Trump's son-in-law. "There is no nepotism exception for background investigations," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told the Post. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) noted that Congress is watching.
On CNN Thursday night, former Gov. Chris Christie (R) was on the same page, telling Chris Cuomo this story highlights "the biggest problem with having family in official positions in the White House, because it's much harder to be objective." He and Cuomo agreed that the story is damning and likely accurate. "And again, Chris, it goes back to the familial relationship," Christie said. "It goes back to the idea that for any other staff member, I think the president would have a much easier time saying 'Listen, no, I'm not getting involved.'"
But Cuomo said focusing on the nepotism is "a step sideways from the actual problem," namely that Trump "has no problem lying to the American people about things he thinks he needs to." Christie said Trump really has a tendency to "lie about things that he hasn't needed to lie about — that's worse in many respects." He mentioned the Stormy Daniels hush-money payment. But regarding the Times report, "there's no way to defend" Trump's behavior, "and I'm not going to," Christie said, "and I have to assume its true because the White House didn't deny it, nor did Jared's lawyer." Watch below. Peter Weber