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Report: Chris Christie, former New Jersey governor and Jared Kushner nemesis, will again run for president

Christie has gone from Trump antagonist to ally and back following an unsuccessful run in 2016

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will once more run for president and will be backed by billionaire Steve Cohen, according to reports.

On Thursday, New Hampshire-based journalist Chris Ryan tweeted that several sources had confirmed Christie would announce his candidacy in the next few days and will be financially backed by Cohen, who is best known as the owner of the New York Mets.

Cohen, a Jewish New York native who amassed a fortune working on Wall Street as a hedge fund manager, has donated millions of dollars to both parties, though the majority of his donations have leaned conservative. That includes over $2 million given to America Leads, a political action committee formed to support Christie’s failed 2016 run for president. 

In 2012, Cohen was implicated in an insider trading scandal that resulted in a two-year suspension of his ability to manage money. That same year, he acquired a minority stake in the Mets, a position that was upgraded to majority owner in 2020. 

As of Friday, Christie had not yet filed a formal declaration of his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. His presidential campaign political action committee had not filed any FEC paperwork since 2017, when it received approval to terminate its activities after Christie dropped out. 

During that campaign, Christie had criticized Donald Trump as a “reality TV” candidate. But after dropping out of the race, Christie went on to endorse Trump in a now-infamous appearance in which he stood behind Trump, appearing dazed and uncomfortable. 

That was the beginning of an uneasy partnership between the Trump camp and Christie. While Christie would end up leading Trump’s debate preparation team, he was ultimately shut out of a role in his onetime rival’s administration. In a tell-all book published in 2019, Christie aired his grievances with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, saying that Kushner had fired him from Trump’s presidency planning committee as revenge for Christie’s role in sending Kushner’s father to prison. 

In 2004, Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions. Christie, who was the prosecutor in the case, later described Kushner’s actions, which included using a videotape of his own brother-in-law having sex with a sex worker, as “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted.”

In 2016, while still serving as governor, Christie signed into law a bill banning the state’s pension and annuity funds from investing in companies that take part in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. 

Part of Christie’s family is Jewish: In 2021, his nephew’s bar mitzvah was allegedly the source of an outbreak of COVID-19. 

Christie joins a narrow field that is anticipated to grow more crowded as primary season approaches. Trump has already announced his candidacy and has dedicated a significant amount of time attacking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has not formally declared his candidacy but was at one point a presumed frontrunner. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley declared her own candidacy in February. On Friday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott filed his own candidacy paperwork.

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