- Christie writes that Trump was "just beside himself with fury" at the 2011 White House Correspondents' dinner.
- Obama famously skewered Trump for his aggressive promotion of the racist "birther" conspiracy theory.
- "I spoke to Donald after the dinner," Christie said. "He was pissed off like I'd never seen him before."
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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie writes that former President Donald Trump was "just beside himself with fury" at the 2011 White House Correspondents' dinner after then-President Barack Obama roasted him over his promotion of the racist "birther" conspiracy theory.
At the annual Washington dinner, Obama famously joked that since his longform birth certificate had been released, Trump could move on to other outrageous conspiracy theories. Trump, then the host of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice," sat in the audience and glowered.
"It was fascinating and excruciating all at once," Christie, who also attended the dinner, writes of watching Obama's roast and Trump's reaction in his book, "Republican Rescue: Saving the Party from Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden." "[Obama] never turned his eyes away from the man who'd been questioning his right to be president. He showed no mercy on Donald Trump."
Christie said Trump was furious after the event. Some have speculated that the evening of public humiliation helped fuel Trump's desire to run for president four years later.
"I spoke to Donald after the dinner," Christie said. "He was pissed off like I'd never seen him before. Just beside himself with fury."
In his book, Christie is critical of Trump's aggressive promotion of the birther conspiracy theory, which Trump pushed until September 2016, and writes that it "paved the way for wave after wave of other conspiracies to come, wild fantasies, far-fetched assertions, bizarre allegations, and outright lies."
He added, "It showed that personal falsehoods, even when plainly disproven, can still do political damage. Lies, even discredited lies, never really go away."
But despite what Christie writes were Trump's obvious lies, Christie delivered Trump significant political momentum when he became one of the first prominent Republican politicians to endorse his 2016 presidential bid.