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New Jersey Gov. Chris ChristieChris ChristieChristie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group Christie: Biden's new vaccine mandate will 'harden opposition' Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid MORE earlier this week said that by pushing to end the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk data collection, Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMatthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' Professor tells Cruz that Texas's voter ID law is racist Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks MORE (R-Texas) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken MORE (R-Ky.) have “worked against the intelligence community to make us less safe.”
“The intelligence community has the opportunity to be just as strong if not stronger than it ever was, but it needs leadership,” Christie told a New Hampshire radio station on Monday, according to Buzzfeed.
“And the biggest problem with the intelligence community now is it has been demoralized by a president and certain members of Congress like Senator Paul and Senator Cruz who have worked against the intelligence community to make us less safe,” he added.
Christie, Cruz and Paul are all Republican candidates for president.
The New Jersey governor said intelligence efforts in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks kept the nation safe.
“And lets remember something, in the seven years after 9/11, during the Bush administration, we had no attacks on American soil after 9/11,” Christie said.
“And a large contributor to that success, was the intelligence community because it was empowered and supported by a strong president of the United States, who knew exactly what do to prevent terrorist attacks on the homeland.”
Cruz has previously faced attacks from other fellow GOP presidential candidates for his support for the USA Freedom Act earlier this year.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said last month that Cruz worked to "weaken" surveillance programs that could thwart terrorists.
"The weakening of our intelligence gathering capabilities leaves America vulnerable, and that is exactly what's happened," said Rubio, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
GOP front-runner Donald Trump also slammed Cruz's position earlier this week, saying “I err on the side of security.”