Trump trolls ‘grifter’ Christie over ‘beachgate’ scandal as US heads for another government shutdown

Donald Trump speaks, after being introduced by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L), at a Super Tuesday campaign event in Palm Beach, Florida (EPA)
Donald Trump speaks, after being introduced by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L), at a Super Tuesday campaign event in Palm Beach, Florida (EPA)

Donald Trump has taken to Truth Social to troll Chris Christie over the “beachgate” scandal as the US heads for another government shutdown.

The former president called Mr Christie, who was governor of New Jersey until 2018, a “grifter” and shared the notorious images of Mr Christie sunbathing on a beach in 2017 while beaches were closed due to a state government shutdown.

Mr Trump also urged Republicans to “use the power of the purse” as Congress continues to spar over spending bills.

It comes as the US government heads for another government shutdown in 10 days time.

If both the House and Senate can’t pass identical versions of all 12 annual government funding bills — or a resolution continuing to fund the government at Fiscal Year 2023 levels — the federal government is set for its sixth partial or full shutdown since 1994.

Republicans are divided over funding for border security and military and humanitarian aid for Kyiv.

The White House has insisted any budget bill passed by lawmakers should include $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Kyiv.

While such a plan is supported by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, it is radically opposed by some members of the GOP-controlled House.

Far-right Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted: “I will not vote to fund a single penny to the war in Ukraine, COVID anything, and the political weaponized government.”

Meanwhile, fellow die-hard Trump supporter Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida also chimed in: “Trump Opposes the Continuing Resolution. Hold the line.”

In a statement on Wednesday, the White House warned: “While President Biden has been in New York this week showcasing America’s global leadership on the world stage, extreme House Republicans are consumed by chaos and marching our country toward a government shutdown that would damage our communities, economy, and national security.

“Instead of following the bipartisan example of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, extreme House Republicans continue to demand a reckless laundry list of partisan proposals as a condition of keeping the government open – from an evidence-free impeachment that even some of their own members don’t agree with, to reckless cuts to programs millions of hardworking families and seniors count on, to a litany of other extraneous ideological demands,” the statement continued.

Mr Trump is also pushing congressional Republicans to shut down the US government in order to defund the string of investigations against him.

“Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border, and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State,” he said in a statement posted on Truth Social.

He continued: “This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots. They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”

On Tuesday, plans to pass spending bills hit another snag when five conservative Republicans sank a vote to pass a rule to begin debate on the annual defence spending bill, which infuriated many Republicans.

In 2018, the US had its longest government shutdown in history when the government shut down for 35 days under president Trump.