Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has accused Donald Trump of being behind the “failed social media site” Truth Social.
Mr Christie called the former president a “coward” after he shared infamous images of Mr Christie that sparked the so-called “beachgate” scandal.
In the infamous photos, the then-governor was seen sunbathing on a New Jersey beach in 2017 — at a time when beaches were closed to the public due to a state government shutdown.
Mr Trump called Christie, who is running against him in the 2024 presidential election, a “disaster” and attacked his record as governor of New Jersey as he re-shared the images to his followers on Truth Social earlier this week.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Mr Christie responded to the attack, blaming the former president's late-night rants on Truth Social about “bad Chinese food” and challenging him to face him in a debate.
“He doesn't like it when people stand up to him and call him out on the nonsense he's involved in,” Mr Christie said.
“And I guess he had a bad night last night, maybe he ate some bad Chinese food or something, Wolf. Well, at 11.30 at night, a little indigestion decided to attack me.”
He added: “Keep going, Donald.
“And by the way, if he had guts, he'd get on the debate stage. And he has things to say about me.”
Addressing Trump, he said: “Stop hiding behind your social media site, your failed social media site, Donald, and start facing me directly. Appear. Stop being a coward.”
Christie – once a close ally of Trump – was one of the first prominent Republicans to endorse him for president in 2016.
He also helped prepare Trump for debates during the 2016 presidential election. But Mr. Christie has since become one of Trump's biggest critics and is now running against him in the 2024 race.
In the CNN interview, Mr. Christie continued to criticize Trump for refusing to participate in any Republican primary debates so far in the election cycle, blaming the former president's record in office.
He said: “If I had his record I wouldn't even want to discuss.
“He said he was going to balance the budget in four years, as a businessman. It added $7 trillion to the national debt. He said he was going to build a “big, beautiful wall” all along the Mexican border. He built 52 miles of new wall in four years. And he said Mexico will pay for it. They never did.
“He said he would repeal and replace Obamacare. He had a Republican Congress, he couldn't do it. Look, that's not a record to be proud of.
He continued: “He doesn't want to face me. I prepared him for the debates in 2016. I prepared him for the debates in 2020. He knows what that's like. The American people don't want to see it. I accept.”
Christie has previously said he will not vote for Trump if he wins the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and has vowed not to pardon him if he becomes president.
A recent poll shows Christie ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis in the New Hampshire primary, but Trump still leads for the Republican nomination.