Trump's casino debt settlement in New Jersey questioned
Gov. Chris Christie is facing new allegations that he may have helped Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump get rid of some of his casino debt he owed the state of New Jersey. The allegations come as the governor joined Trump in New York City at a national security briefing.
A New York Times report shows that Trump received a large casino tax break. According to the report, Trump owed $30 million in casino debt. The state had been trying to get the money, even as the casino filed for bankruptcy, according to the report.
After Gov. Christie took office, the debt was settled and Trump paid just $5 million, according to the Times. The paper noted that the amount came to about 17 cents on the dollar that Trump owed.
Christie needed "top secret" security clearance to attend the security meeting Wednesday. He declined to reveal what the meeting would be about.
"I don't discuss those matters. If im going to be at a national security briefing then Donald and I will know," he said.
Christie did attend Trump's classified intelligence briefing as one of his top aides.
It would certainly be unusual for a governor [to attend those meetings], but a governor whose a top aide to a presidential candidate? No," says Rutgers' political science Department Chair Richard Lau.
Lau says that the briefings are a tradition for presidential candidates.
"To give them some heads up about what's going on to the extent that...they're not familiar with everything, which I suspect would be more true of Trump than Clinton as the former secretary of state," Lau says.
With the news about the casino debt, some New Jersey residents are questioning the governor's connection to Trump during the presidential campaign.
"I think it's a relationship that's actually not good for New Jersey," says East Brunswick resident John Alba.
The governor's office has said that he had not been aware of Trump's tax dispute in New Jersey and he could not comment on the matter.