Chris Christie says getting opposition research from a foreign government is probably illegal

Chris Christie says getting opposition research from a foreign government is probably illegal
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Joe Raedle/Getty Images
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New Jersey Governor and former Trump campaign surrogate Chris Christie said Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer to gather information about Hillary Clinton was probably illegal, the Associated Press reported on Monday.

During a Monday news conference, the Republican Governor and former U.S. attorney spoke about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting, saying, “I think, quite frankly, it’s probably against the law in addition to being inappropriate,” the AP reported. However Christie added that “ ... the thing that bothers me the most is that we seem to have a frenzy of people jumping to conclusions.”

On Tuesday, Trump Jr. released an email exchange showing that the publicist who set up his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer said at one point, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

The Trump family had initially released a statement claiming that the meeting with a Russian lawyer was about a Russian adoption program.

Donald Trump Jr. being interviewed by host Sean Hannity on his Fox News program.
Donald Trump Jr. being interviewed by host Sean Hannity on his Fox News program. Richard Drew/AP

A lawyer for President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, has defended Trump Jr.’s meeting, and reportedly saying, “Nothing in that meeting that would have taken place, even if it was about the topic of an opposition research paper from a Russian lawyer, is illegal or a violation of the law,” the AP reported.

Christie’s appearance on Monday came after a more local controversy — it was his first public appearance since he was photographed on a New Jersey beach while it was closed to the public during a state government shutdown, igniting a firestorm of criticism of Christie.

In June, a Quinnipiac University Poll found that Christie held the lowest approval rating of any governor in any state surveyed by Quinnipiac in more than 20 years.