Former New Jersey Governor and Trump transition team member Chris Christie weighed in on the "Porn Star vs. The President" saga on Sunday, saying that accusations that Trump might be guilty of illegally using campaign funds to "silence" adult film actress Stormy Daniels "could be" legitimate.
Christie, who reportedly parted ways with the president under less than cordial circumstances, made the comments on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday morning, just a few hours after CNN's intrepid reporting at a strip club performance by Daniels in Florida (no, seriously). Seated next to former DNC chair Donna Brazile, who, after being booted from her role as the DNC chair, exposed Hillary Clinton's "secret takeover of the DNC," Christie was asked to address the issue based on his experience as a former prosecutor.
After a panel discussion about whether or not Trump is "prepared" to talk with the North Korean leader and the implications of Trump's steel industry tariffs, Christie was asked if he thinks that there might be a "legitimate" legal issue with Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen paying Daniels $130,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement in 2016 about her alleged affair with Trump years before.
"There could be," said Christie. "You’ve got to get to the bottom of the facts. You’ve got to get to the bottom of the facts. Was Michael Cohen reimbursed for this? If he was, from whom? Did he pay for himself? If he paid himself, what are the campaign implications? There’s all kinds of issues that will be looked at."
The host interjected that if Cohen wasn't reimbursed, it might be a "bigger issue."
"If he was reimbursed ... did the president reimburse him?" said Christie. Stressing that "we don't know" all the facts yet, the former prosecutor reiterated that it must be "examined" legally. "I think there are legal issues to be examined," he said. "I’m sure they will be examined. We don’t know. We don’t know enough of the facts. The facts have kind of been movable on this."
Christie also noted that the porn star story was being handled differently in the era of Trump than it would have been with past presidents.
Daniels has accused Trump and Cohen of unfairly attempting to silence her through a restraining order filed late February amid her continued media campaign teasing a big reveal about their alleged past sexual relationship. In a lawsuit filed last Tuesday, the lawyer of Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) alleged that Cohen was trying to "intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and 'shut her up' in order to 'protect Mr. Trump,'" and that he "surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford in Los Angeles."
Cohen's own attorney has responded to Daniels' lawsuit by noting that the NDA Daniels signed specifies that actions like his client has taken is a legal and proper response to her breaking the agreement. "The designated judge from the arbitration tribunal found that Ms. Clifford had violated the agreement and enjoined her from, among other things, filing this lawsuit," Cohen's attorney, Lawrence Rosen, told NBC in a statement last week.