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April 18, 2019

Mueller Report: Trump repeatedly asked Chris Christie to deal with James Comey, Mueller

The former N.J. governor is a familiar name in Thursday's long-awaited report

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shows up a number of times in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-anticipated report on Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election, according to a redacted version released to the public on Thursday morning.

Christie gave an interview with Mueller’s office in February, according to the report, in which he shared his account of the incidents.

Among the incidents in the report, Trump asked Christie to call then-FBI Director James Comey on Valentine’s Day in 2017 and tell Comey he was “part of the team,” but Christie decided the request was “nonsensical” and didn’t comply.

Another time, the report notes, Trump contacted Christie after Comey was fired in May 2017 because he was “getting 'killed' in the press over Comey’s termination.” Trump asked Christie for advice, and the New Jersey governor and attorney general suggested having Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defend the decision, but Rosenstein declined.

Trump also once sought Christie’s advice concerning firing Mueller himself, according to the report. Christie advised Trump against firing Mueller because “there was no substantive basis for the President to fire the Special Counsel,” and because such a move would have likely cost Trump politically.

Christie's name appears a total of 62 times in the report, including footnote mentions.

His frequent inclusion shouldn't come as much of a surprise: Christie was part of Trump's transition team after the 2016 election and was being considered as a potential candidate for White House chief of staff as recently as December.

The report, on the whole, did not find sufficient information to indicate that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russian leaders, but it also concluded the report “does not exonerate him.”

You can read the full report below:

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