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Christie says he wouldn't let Flynn into White House "if he were president"

Flynn to invoke the 5th

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered a harsh assessment of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying if he were president, he wouldn't let Flynn into the White House.

"If I were president-elect of the United States, I wouldn't let General Flynn in the White House, let alone give him a job," said Christie. 

Speaking to reporters on the state of New Jersey's economy, Christie blasted Flynn at the Statehouse, saying "I didn't think he was someone who would bring benefit to the president," which he said he made "very clear" to then-President-elect Trump in the days following the election.

Christie's comments came as Flynn declined to comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee's subpoenas for documents related to its probe into Russian meddling in the presidential election. In a letter to the committee, Flynn invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. 

Flynn was ousted in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials. The day after Flynn resigned, Mr. Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the FBI investigation of Flynn. Last week, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced former FBI Director Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel in charge of the FBI's Russia probe.

Report: Trump told Flynn to "stay strong"

Christie previously served as Mr. Trump's director of transition planning until shortly after the election, a period in which Christie told reporters on Monday that he had no knowledge of any investigation into Flynn.

Questions continue to be raised about what exactly the White House knew about Flynn before his selection as national security adviser was announced -- after The New York Times reported Wednesday that Flynn had told the Trump transition team weeks before inauguration that Flynn was under federal investigation for his lobbying work for Turkey during the campaign.

The Times' report said that despite Flynn's Jan. 4 disclosure about the investigation to White House counsel Donald McGahn, Mr. Trump brought Flynn onto his team. The report also says that people close to Flynn say he believed that when the warning to Mr. Trump did little to dissuade him from appointing him as national security adviser, the Justice Department then opened its investigation into his lobbying work.

Christie also shot down reports that the two had clashed during a previous intelligence briefing, but he did say that Flynn was "not my cup of tea."

"The general and I never had any conflict of any kind," Christie said Monday, "Verbal, non-verbal, metaphysical. None."

Christie also evidently doesn't share Mr. Trump's opinion that former FBI Director James Comey is "a real nut job." "I would disagree with the characterization of Jim as a 'nut job.' I've known Jim for a long time," Christie said. 

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