'Mueller takes no prisoners': Chris Christie reveals the warning he gave to Trump about the Russia investigation

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, spent much of his career as a U.S. attorney, and in the process got to know now-Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who at the time was director of the FBI.

That experience makes Christie well-positioned to know how Mueller operates — and as he told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt in an interview promoting his new book, "Let Me Finish," he warned Trump from the start that Mueller could be trouble for his presidency.

"I consider him a colleague," said Christie of Mueller. "I worked with him for seven years when I was U.S. Attorney. He was director of the FBI. And we had interaction on a number of matters during my time as U.S. attorney."

"I've always said the President should not touch him," said Hewitt. "I don't know him personally, but a lot of people like Fred Fielding, who's a good friend of mine, say he's absolutely incorruptible, you can trust him. Do you agree with that?"

"I do," said Christie. "I believe, and I've told the president this. I believe in his integrity and his honesty. But I also told the President he's an assassin. Bob Mueller takes no prisoners. Bob Mueller, remember, this is a guy, Hugh, and this is all you need to know about Bob Mueller. U.S. attorney in San Francisco in the Bush 41 administration, he is fired along with all the other U.S. attorneys when Bill Clinton becomes president. After a short period of time, he calls Eric Holder, who is at that time the U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, and asks Eric for a job prosecuting murder cases on the local side of the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. This is a guy who just loves being a prosecutor and absolutely takes no prisoners."

Christie did get one fact wrong: Mueller was Bush's assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, not a U.S. attorney, when Clinton dismissed him. Under Clinton, he became a senior homicide litigator in D.C. in 1995 and then became a U.S. attorney in California in 1998.

But Christie's characterization of Mueller is, by all accounts, spot on. According to Mueller's biographer, Garrett Graff, he was never able to last long in private practice because, "He'll meet with the client, they'll explain the problem and he'll say 'Well, it sounds like you should go to jail then.'" He is, first and foremost, a hard-nosed prosecutor who wants to punish lawbreakers.

Since being appointed to take over the Russia investigation from the FBI, Mueller has racked up over 30 indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions, including Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, national security adviser Michael Flynn, personal attorney Michael Cohen, and political strategist Roger Stone.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.