New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced twice, during Fox News’ Republican presidential debate Thursday, that he was nominated as the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey one day before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Official records, however, show that the decision to nominate Christie for the post was made only on Dec. 1, 2001 -- more than two months later.
"I was appointed United States attorney on September 10, 2001. And I spent the next seven years of my career fighting terrorism and putting terrorists in jail," he said during the debate, according to a transcript.
Later in the debate, he repeated this claim, stating: “I was appointed U.S. attorney by President Bush on September 10th, 2001, and the world changed enormously the next day,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, during the debate, while slamming Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for opposing bulk collection of phone data by the NSA.
However, as this document -- a statement released by the then president George W. Bush shows -- the decision to nominate Christie to the post of U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey was made only on Dec. 1, 2001. Moreover, according to his official biography, Christie was named to the post in 2002 -- an office he held till December 2008.
During the debate, Christie -- whose popularity has continued to dip in his home state -- defended NSA's controversial phone surveillance program as essential "for protecting the lives and the safety of the American people."
"This is not theoretical to me. I went to the funerals. We lost friends of ours in the Trade Center that day. ... . We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way. As president, that is exactly what I'll do," Christie said.