“I joke about Donald. But, I’m still really proud to have provided some help to his administration,” Christie told a closed-door gathering of The Gridiron Club in Washington, per Politico Playbook. “I mean, I gave Donald Trump my undying loyalty, and as we learned this week, he definitely gave me COVID.”
Christie and Trump were both hospitalized with coronavirus in October 2020.
Trump reportedly called Christie at the time to ask, “Are you going to say you got it from me?”
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows wrote in his new book that Trump tested positive for the contagion three days before the first election debate with Joe Biden. When a second test returned negative, Trump carried on with his schedule as usual, including time with Christie.
Also in his speech, Christie reportedly mocked Trump with a gag about former first lady Melania Trump:
“I’m hopeful for the future of my party. I mean, just look at Virginia … Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s race … by benefitting from the Trump name without ever standing in the same room as him. You know who he learned that strategy from? Melania Trump, actually.”
And this line about Trump’s aversion to reading:
“I was a little worried that Donald would be upset when he read [my new book]. But then I remembered: It’s a book; no chance.”
Christie has in recent weeks publicly urged Trump to abandon his 2020 election lies for the sake of the GOP and the country. Critics have accused the former governor of being on a “media rehabilitation tour” ahead of a possible 2024 run for president.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.