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Christie Denies Trump Scolded Him About Obama Election Call

by Adam Edelman /
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reacts to a question during a news conference in Trenton, New Jersey on Dec. 13, 2013.Mel Evans / AP file

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday disputed a new book's depiction of a bitter election-night exchange between him and then-candidate Donald Trump.

According to “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency,” by Joshua Green, a senior national correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek, Trump lashed out at Christie after the governor allegedly offered Trump his personal cell phone for the candidate to receive a congratulatory call from then-President Barack Obama.

Obama, the book reported, called Christie's cell phone to congratulate Trump, but Trump wanted to take the call on his own phone.

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And Trump let Christie — then serving as Trump’s transition team chief — know he was angry. "I don't want your … phone," Trump said, according to the book.

Christie, however, disputed the entire account Tuesday.

"There was no call from President Obama to me," Christie said during a wide-ranging interview on MSNBC’s "Deadline: White House."

"The book is wrong fundamentally in that there was no call from President Obama that evening," he added. "I didn’t speak to the president that night at all."

Christie said on MSNBC that he received a call "from a member of (Obama’s) senior staff" and that that person asked how the president could get in touch, "if your guy happens to win."

"And I said, ‘Just call my phone and I’ll give you his number,'" Christie said, adding that he then told Trump of the call because he felt it was a good sign.

"I said, ‘I think they think at the White House you're going to win, because they’re calling and asking how to get in touch with you after that happens," Christie explained.

In his interview with MSNBC, Christie also said Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya because he’s not "a sophisticated political actor."

"He’s not sophisticated in this stuff," Christie said.

Trump Jr., Christie said, should have consulted with the campaign’s lawyer after receiving an email from music publicist and acquaintance Rob Goldstone, who wrote him that a Russian lawyer had information that would "incriminate" Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton and would be "very useful to your father."

“What they should have done when the email first came in was to go to Don McGahn,” Christie said. McGahn was the Trump campaign's chief lawyer and is now White House counsel.

"If they had gone to Don with that, I am willing to bet you everything I’ve got in my pocket that Don would have said to them, ‘Don’t take that meeting and let’s alert the FBI,'" Christie said.

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