Trump blamed getting COVID on Chris Christie and ‘tried to duck’ from his ‘spittle’ during debate prep, book says

Chris Christie Donald Trump.
Chris Christie, left, and Donald Trump.

  • Trump was “convinced” that Chris Christie gave him COVID-19, according to a new book.
  • Trump had “seen the spittle” come out of Christie’s mouth and “tried to duck from the droplets.”
  • It’s unclear how Trump contracted the disease.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump believed that he contracted COVID-19 last October from ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, according to a forthcoming book by journalist Michael Wolff.

Shortly before Trump announced he tested positive coronavirus on October 2, he worked with Christie to prepare for the September 29 presidential debate against Joe Biden.

Trump, a self-described germaphobe, had “seen the spittle” come out of Christie’s mouth and “tried to duck from the droplets” as they sat across from each other at practice debate sessions, Wolff wrote in his book, “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency.”

Trump later blamed his exposure to COVID-19 on Christie, who tested positive around the same time as him and battled the virus for a week in the ICU.

It’s unclear exactly how the virus spread to Trump. But he was furious with Christie following a final debate session in which Christie had assumed the role of Biden and attacked Trump, according to the book.

“You have blood on your hands,” Christie reportedly told Trump. “You’re a complete failure. All these people have died from the virus. And it’s your fault.”

Christie, still playing Biden, also pointed out that Trump had criticized Biden’s son, Hunter, while his own family was “full of problems,” the book said.

Trump became “clearly agitated” at the practice strategy and had his “arms tightly crossed,” Wolff wrote. He said that Christie attacked him “like he meant it,” per the book.

Whether or not Christie gave coronavirus to Trump, the former president was “convinced” that he did, Wolff wrote.

The pair’s relationship eventually fell apart. After their bouts with COVID-19, Christie went on to criticize Trump’s handling of the pandemic in the country.

Christie told the New York Times last October that he was “wrong” to have trusted the White House grounds was a “safe zone” and that he should have worn a mask.

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Rudy Giuliani’s son Andrew gets zero votes from GOP leaders in bid for New York governor

andrew giuliani ny gov
Andrew Giuliani, Republican candidate in the 2022 New York governor’s race.

  • Andrew Giuliani, 35, is the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
  • In May 2021, he announced he was seeking the Republican nomination in the New York governor’s race.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The son of former New York mayor and Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani received no support for his bid to be the next governor of New York in a secret vote by local Republican leaders this week.

In May, Andrew Giuliani announced he was seeking the GOP nomination for the 2022 contest, claiming he was a born politico. “I’m a politician out of the womb,” he said. “It’s in my DNA.”

But leaders of the New York Republican Party are not feeling it.

As the Democrat & Chronicle reported, Giuliani, who served in the White House under ex-President Donald Trump, received no votes from GOP county chairs or members of the Republican state committee at a straw poll in Albany on Monday.

According to the New York GOP, more people chose to abstain – 10% – than vote for Giuliani, who has described his views as “very, very similar” to the former president he served.

US Congressman Lee Zeldin led the way with 85% of the vote, followed by former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino with 5%, the party announced.

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Group-chat bans and ‘daddy issues’: A report on Andrew Giuliani’s campaign to be New York’s governor highlights family drama

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani sits with his son Andrew at City Hall during his inauguration for a second term at City Hall.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his son Andrew in 1998.

  • Andrew Giuliani’s longshot NY gubernatorial bid was the subject of a New York Magazine profile.
  • Strained family dynamics underpin the shoestring campaign, according to the magazine.
  • Despite being a former White House aide, Andrew is reportedly not Trump’s first pick.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andrew Giuliani’s gubernatorial bid was the subject of a New York Magazine report published Thursday, with bizarre Giuliani family dynamics taking center stage.

“I’m a politician out of the womb,” he told reporter Olivia Nuzzi, repeating a line from his mid-May campaign announcement. “I’m my father’s son.”

His father, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has not held office for 20 years, although he remains a prominent figure in national politics as one of former President Donald Trump’s most loyal allies. Andrew said his family name could bolster his campaign and thinks it “evokes a reaction in most people.”

The Republican candidate and former Trump White House aide also said he plans to use guidance from his father to help his run. “If I didn’t use him as an asset, as an adviser, as somebody who I’d rely on, I’d be foolish,” Andrew told the outlet.

But the report also delves into Andrew’s strained relationship with Rudy. After his parents divorced and Rudy remarried in 2003, Andrew went through “long stretches” of his life in which the pair hardly spoke.

Heather McBride, Andrew’s former babysitter and now his campaign spokesman, told the magazine that Rudy is not a member of “the 12-member family group chat that includes extended Giuliani relatives and close friends.”

Still, Andrew has grown to stay by his father’s side, the report says. Andrew spoke out on his behalf in April when federal agents executed search warrants on Rudy’s home and office and seized his electronic devices, per New York Magazine.

“He’s a tough guy. He can take anything,” he told the magazine. “And what he knows is he’s got his son backing him.”

GOP officials and associates close to Giuliani’s family are unsure why Andrew has decided to run for governor, especially in a state where Democrats are virtually guaranteed to win. Some are convinced it has to do with his father.

“There’s pain and daddy issues that exist beneath this,” an unnamed source close to Rudy told New York Magazine.

Even given the remote odds of the eventual Republican nominee becoming the first to win statewide since 2002 – when Republican Gov. George Pataki unseated Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo, denying him a fourth term – Giuliani is reportedly not the favored candidate.

That would be Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of Long Island, who has already picked up endorsements from New York’s GOP congressional delegation and Trump is also reportedly rallying support for him ahead of an expected endorsement.

Zeldin also has fundraising experience from his time in Albany and Washington, DC, while Giuliani’s financial viability remains unclear.

“What Andrew is doing is less about Rudy than it is about what Andrew is doing to process Rudy,” a longtime associate told New York Magazine.

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Boxer, attorney, and former reality TV star Joey Gilbert was at the Capitol on Jan 6. He’s now campaigning to be governor of Nevada.

Joey Gilbert campaign ad
Joey Gilbert was spotted outside the US Capital during the January 6 riots. He is now running for governor of Nevada.

  • Joey Gilbert was seen on video taking part in the January 6 riot outside the Capitol.
  • He announced his campaign to run for governor of Nevada, running on the promise of “election integrity.”
  • Jason Riddle, who was charged in relation to the Capitol riots, is also running for office in New Hampshire.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Nevada attorney and former boxing champion Joey Gilbert was among the sea of rioters scaling the steps of the Capitol on January 6. He is now running for governor of Nevada, campaigning on “election integrity.”

Gilbert announced his intention to run for governor during a pro-Trump event on June 12 at the Ahern Hotel in Las Vegas. Taking to the stage, Gilbert raised a fist in the air and called out “lifelong politicians,” promising to run his campaign based on “election integrity.”

“The most important message I can leave today for all of you is that if you sat on your hands and you censored the truth, and you peddled the fear, you’re out,” Gilbert said during his speech to cheers from the crowd, calling out “RINOs” (an acronym for Republicans-in-name-only) and “lifelong politicians.”

“If election integrity isn’t the number one issue of these guys running, then they’re either lost, confused, or too stupid to be running,” Gilbert said.

He then went on to make the false claim that former President Donald Trump won Nevada by 44,000 votes.

“We need to get to the bottom of what happened in 2020, first and foremost. And we will be having an audit here,” Gilbert added.

Just months ago, Gilbert was at a different kind of event. Per a Daily Beast report, Gilbert was spotted climbing the steps of the Capitol and yelling for known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to join him there.

Gilbert is a former middleweight boxer and was once a national and regional boxing champ. In 2004, he starred in the boxing reality television competition show “The Contender.”

He went on to pursue a career in law in Reno, fighting lockdown restrictions and church closures throughout the pandemic. Notably, he is currently working with the far-right conspiracy theorist group America’s Frontline Doctors on an anti-vaccine lawsuit.

He is not the only person involved in the January 6 Capitol insurrection that has expressed interest in becoming a lawmaker.

Jason Riddle – who was arrested and charged in relation to the riots after bragging that he chugged wine inside the Capitol – said he was running for state representative in New Hampshire with the intention to unseat Democrat Ann Kuster. Riddle later realized during an on-air interview with NBC10 Boston that he had joined the wrong race because Kuster is a Congresswoman, not a state representative.

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Arizona’s top elections official Katie Hobbs announces run for governorship amid ongoing election audit

In this Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, file photo, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs removes her face mask as she addresses the members of Arizona’s Electoral College prior to them casting their votes, in Phoenix.

  • Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, will run for governor in 2022, she announced Wednesday.
  • The top elections official in the state has gained national attention in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Hobbs is an outspoken critic of the state’s ongoing Maricopa County election audit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who rose to prominence defending the state’s election results following the 2020 vote, announced Wednesday that she’s launching a run for governor.

In an announcement video posted to Twitter, Hobbs trumpeted her role as a dependable leader, touting her past political successes and pledging to lead the state through recovery in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hobbs, a Democrat, first saw her national profile grow this fall during a series of cable news appearances amid Arizona’s ongoing vote count, which continued days beyond Election Day.

Then, this spring, Hobbs became an outspoken critic of the controversial election audit in Maricopa County, spearheaded by the state’s GOP-controlled Senate. The recount decision was made in spite of objections by the county’s Republican-controlled board of supervisors. The board said the election had already been audited more than once by credible firms.

Hobbs has frequently cited concerns over a lack of transparency and even taken legal action to ensure elections experts are on the ground during the process.

She’s criticized the contentious effort as a danger to democracy and has taken several steps to both stop and document the controversial recount. She’s sent sharply-worded letters to audit organizers about the recount; suggested the county replace its voting machines due to security concerns; and published a detailed summary of concerning witness statements from the recount.

“We did our jobs. They refuse to do theirs,” Hobbs said in her announcement video. “And there is a lot more work to be done. That is why I am running for governor.

Hobbs won the secretary of state position in a narrow victory in 2018 and her current term ends in January 2023. Arizona’s current governor, Republican Doug Ducey, is also term-limited and will be out in 2023.

Kimberly Yee, Arizona’s current state treasurer, and a Republican, has also announced a gubernatorial run, as has Kari Lake, a former anchor for the local Fox station.

Republicans in the politically-changing state’s legislature have responded to Hobbs’ relentless objections in kind. Last month, Republicans passed a measure to strip Hobbs of her election powers and transfer such duties to Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, but only through the end of 2023 – a seemingly deliberate attempt to punish Hobbs for her criticism.

Before serving as Secretary of State, Hobbs served as a member of Arizona’s Senate and House of Representatives.

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Caitlyn Jenner is working with Trump aide Brad Parscale on her potential California gubernatorial bid

Television personality Caitlyn Jenner attends WORLDZ Cultural Marketing Summit at Hollywood and Highland on August 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Television personality Caitlyn Jenner attends WORLDZ Cultural Marketing Summit at Hollywood and Highland on August 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Caitlyn Jenner is seeking political advice from Brad Parscale on her possible California gubernatorial bid.
  • Parscale is advising Jenner on potential campaign personnel on an unpaid basis, per CNN.
  • The reality TV star is also seeking advice from a former Trump campaign fundraiser, Caroline Wren.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Caitlyn Jenner is seeking political advice from former President Donald Trump’s estranged aide, Brad Parscale, on her possible California gubernatorial bid.

Parscale, who served as Trump’s campaign manager before being demoted last summer, is a friend of Jenner’s and is advising Jenner on campaign personnel without being paid, CNN and The New York Times reported. The reality TV star and former US Olympic athlete has also sought advice from Caroline Wren, another Republican operative who fundraised for Trump’s 2020 campaign.

Axios first reported earlier this week that Jenner, a longtime Republican, is considering her debut run for office as embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a recall attempt. California is a solidly blue state and Newsom was elected with 61% of the vote in 2018, but the state has had a few Republican governors, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan.

Trump turned against Parscale last year as his poll numbers dropped and reports about his longtime aide’s aggressive spending habits. Parscale, who told Insider that he was “slowly pushed out” of the campaign, was arrested and hospitalized in September after his wife, Candice Parscale, alleged he was drunk, suicidal, and had hit her. Candice later retracted her statements to the police and a federal judge ordered that Parscale’s guns be removed from his possession.

Parscale was brought back onto Trump’s team to build the former president’s new website and help lead his digital efforts after the election.

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Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly considering a run for California governor

caitlyn jenner
Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the 4th annual Women’s March LA: Women Rising at Pershing Square on January 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

  • Caitlyn Jenner is considering a run for California governor, according to Axios.
  • Tuesday’s report comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom likely faces a recall election this year.
  • Jenner is a longtime Republican.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Caitlyn Jenner is considering a run for California governor as embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a recall attempt, according to an Axios report on Tuesday.

The US Olympic athlete and former “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” reality TV star has been speaking to political advisors about her potential candidacy, three people familiar with the matter told the outlet.

Caroline Wren, a Republican fundraiser who previously fundraised for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, is working with Jenner, Axios reported. Wren did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Jenner also did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

The report comes as Newsom likely faces a recall election later this year, a unique situation that allows voters to decide whether to remove him from office during the middle of his four-year term. Newsom won the 2018 gubernatorial election with 61% of the vote.

The last time Californians recalled a governor was in 2003, when Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was ousted and replaced by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Republicans have launched a recall campaign against Newsom as part of a growing backlash over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, the state has reported more than 3.6 million cases and over 59,000 deaths, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

The race has not yet been authorized. Nearly 1,500,000 petition signatures from registered voters are required to put the election on the ballot, ABC News reported. Recall organizers say they have exceeded that minimum, but state and local officials have until April 29 to count the signatures and determine if an election will be held, Capital Radio News reported.

Should she decide to enter the race, Jenner, a longtime Republican, would join three Republicans who have already announced their intentions to run in a recall election.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio calls sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo ‘disgusting’ and says ‘he can no longer serve as governor’

cuomo de blasio feud part xvi 2x1
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation on Thursday.
  • “It is disgusting to me, and he can no longer serve as governor,” de Blasio said.
  • Cuomo and de Blasio have long feuded during their Empire State overlap.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday blasted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the string of sexual harassment allegations against him.

“It is disgusting to me, and he can no longer serve as governor,” de Blasio said during a news conference. “It’s as simple as that.”

De Blasio’s comments come after a sixth woman has accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. The Albany Times Union reported on Wednesday that an unnamed female staffer said Cuomo “aggressively groped her in a sexually charged manner” last year after she had been called to the Executive Mansion, his residence, to solve a technology issue. Once there, the governor allegedly closed the door, reached under her shirt and began to fondle her, a source with direct knowledge of the unnamed aide’s claims told the The Albany Times Union.

“It’s deeply troubling,” de Blasio said. “The specific allegation that the governor called an employee of his – someone who he had power over – called them to a private place and then sexually assaulted her is absolutely unacceptable.”

The women who have come forward in the past month have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, inappropriate workplace behavior, and non-consensual advances while he has been governor and during his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton administration.

Lawmakers across New York state have urged Cuomo to resign in light of the allegations, but the governor has said he will not step down. Fifty-nine New York Democrats released a joint letter on Thursday calling for his resignation.

In recent weeks Cuomo has also come under attack over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes and safety issues on a billion-dollar bridge the governor named after his father.

Cuomo and de Blasio overlapped during their time at HUD in the Clinton years, but their relationship became publicly toxic over the course of the mayor’s first term.

The Cuomo-de Blasio feud spilled over to New York’s coronavirus response, with the governor often contradicting the mayor hours or even minutes after de Blasio would hold a press briefing.

The mayor also dug into Cuomo in mid-February as the governor’s management style was coming under scrutiny, saying “bullying is nothing new” for Cuomo and that he had received threatening phone calls from him in the past.

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Cuomo says kissing and hugging people is his ‘usual and customary way of greeting’ but apologizes ‘if they were offended by it’

Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on September 29, 2020.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his “usual” way of greeting people involves hugging and kissing.
  • “You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people,” Cuomo said Wednesday.
  • Cuomo apologized for his behavior with women who have recently accused him of sexual harassment.¬†
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday responded to sexual harassment accusations against him, and said that his “usual and customary way of greeting” involves kissing and hugging people and apologized if the behavior offended anyone.

“You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people: women, men, children, et cetera,” Cuomo said during a news briefing in response to a newly circulated photo of him placing his hands on a woman’s face at a wedding reception in New York City in 2019. “You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people, men, women. It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”

“It was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, referring to former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable. You want to reach out to them.”

“I kiss and hug legislators,” he added. “I was at an event in Queens the other day, hugged the pastors and the assembly members who were there. So that is my way to do that.”

The woman in the photo, 33-year-old Anna Ruch, has recently accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. She told The New York Times that their interaction made her feel “uncomfortable and embarrassed.” Two other women, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, both former aides to Cuomo, have also recently come forward with sexual harassment claims against the governor. Both alleged the governor had made unwanted sexual advances towards them.

Cuomo apologized on Wednesday for his past behavior with the women and said that he was “ashamed” over it.

“What I also understand is, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter my intent. What it matters is if anybody was offended by it,” Cuomo said. “And I could intend no offense, but if they were offended by it, then it was wrong. And if they were offended by it, I apologize.”

New York Attorney General Tish James is kicking off an investigation into the sexual harassment claims. Cuomo on Wednesday urged New Yorkers to wait for the results of the case before forming an opinion on the matter.

Several lawmakers have called for Cuomo’s resignation in light of the allegations, yet the governor on Wednesday made clear that he does not intend to step down. Some have also called for Cuomo’s impeachment.

“I apologized several days ago. I apologized today,” Cuomo said. “I will apologize tomorrow. I will apologize the day after.”

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s former press secretary, is running for governor of Arkansas

sarah huckabee sanders
Press briefing by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders (aka Sarah Huckabee Sanders) in the White House Press Briefing Room on July 23, 2018.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a former press secretary for President Donald Trump, is running for governor of Arkansas, according to multiple reports.

Sanders served as the White House press secretary from 2017 to 2019. Since leaving the administration she has remained a staunch defender of Trump.

Sanders, 38, is also the daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and her run for the office has been widely expected.

She plans to make a video announcement of her candidacy on Monday, The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey first reported.

Read more: Trump and the GOP may be headed for an expensive divorce fight over donor and voter data

A campaign official also confirmed to the Associated Press that Sanders is entering the race.

Arkansas is a solidly red state and was easily won by Trump in the 2020 election. The current governor is Republican Asa Hutchinson, who has been in office since 2015 and cannot run again due to term limits.

The election is scheduled to take place on November 8, 2022.

The other Republican candidates include Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

But Dawsey reported Sanders is Trump’s candidate of choice, and that she is leading in early polls.

During her time has press secretary, Sanders was a controversial figure, often sparring with reporters and at times criticized for spreading false information in defense of the president.

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