Tags: Chris Christie | Jared Kushner | opiates | task force

Christie Heading Opiate Task Force, Denies Rift With Kushner

ABC's "Good Morning America"

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017 12:01 PM

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., will join forces with President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, in an initiative to combat the nation's opioid addiction epidemic.

He also insisted Wednesday, despite past reports of tensions, they "get along just great."

"Jared and I have worked incredibly well on this issue and, by the way, on a whole bunch of other issues during the campaign," Christie told ABC's "Good Morning America." "We are working hard because we know our job is to try to make sure that this White House is as successful as it can be for the people of this country who elected Donald Trump to bring change to our country and bring change to this town."

Christie, while U.S. attorney in 2005, prosecuted Kushner's father, Charles Kushner, sending him to prison on 18 counts of tax evasion, making illegal campaign contributions, and witness tampering."

The governor had first been vetted as a possible vice president candidate and then headed Trump's transition team. He was eventually replaced in both spots by now-Vice President Mike Pence. Reports claimed the staff shakeups were tied to Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump.

Kushner denied the reports, telling Forbes last year he was not behind pushing out Christie. The new White House commission on opioid addiction falls under the new White House Office of American Innovation, which Kushner will head.

On Fox News, Christie said addiction is a disease, and his commission will focus on helping people "renew their lives and become productive citizens of society."

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With the battle over Obamacare, Christie said there is a shortage of facilities that can effectively treat patients. He also compared his stance to his pro-life beliefs.

"I believe in the sanctity of every life, and I believe that every life is a gift from God," he said. "No life is disposable, and the person who is addicted to heroin, opiates and other drugs, and their lives are falling apart, we have an obligation to save that life too – to give them a second chance. I think if you're pro life, you need to be pro life for the whole life."

While Christie will head up the commission on opioid addiction, he told NBC's "Today" he is not interested in joining Trump's administration right now, and he will finish his last term as governor, but he did not rule out joining the administration once that ends.

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Christie defended the Trump administration Wednesday, saying it is too soon to offer a letter grade for it.

"It's nine weeks down and 199 weeks to go in the first term of this administration, so I would suggest that everybody take a breath," Christie said. "I've never seen such breathlessness over nine weeks of work. He's going to do the things over the course of his four years that's going to keep the promises he's made to the American people."

The governor also Wednesday refused to tell ABC News if he believes Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., should recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee's probe on Russian involvement in the 2016 election, calling it a "very personal decision" for Nunes to make.

"What I will tell you, though, is that I think the setup in the Congress, both at the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, has been traditionally bipartisan, and I think they'll be able to handle it appropriately," Christie said.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will join forces with President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, in an initiative to combat the nation's opioid addiction epidemic.
Chris Christie, Jared Kushner, opiates, task force
Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017 12:01 PM
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