Christie: Comey was 'single biggest factor' in giving Trump momentum before election
© Stefani Reynolds

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Monday that ex-FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDavis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Sarah Sanders is entitled to her opinions, but not her own facts James Comey, wife donated ,400 to Klobuchar's presidential campaign MORE was "the single biggest factor" in shifting momentum toward President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE in the closing days of the 2016 campaign.

Christie said on "The Hugh Hewitt Show" that Comey's decision to reopen an investigation into then-Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDavis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? MORE's use of a private email server reshuffled the race after an "Access Hollywood" recording in which President Trump described groping women had dominated headlines for days.

"Did Comey win Donald Trump the election?" Hewitt asked Christie.

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"I believe that Comey was the single biggest factor in changing the momentum after Access Hollywood and before the election," Christie responded.

The former governor, who backed Trump during the 2016 campaign, has been on a media tour in recent weeks to promote his new book. He recalled on Monday telling then-candidate Trump in the final days of the 2016 campaign that in typical elections, whichever candidate was being talked about more heading into Election Day would win.

"But in this race, whoever they were talking about was the one that was going to lose," Christie said. "And because of Jim Comey’s actions, they were still talking about Hillary Clinton. And I think that had a large part to do with his victory and her defeat."

Comey publicly said months before the 2016 election that Clinton would not be prosecuted for her handling of classified information while she was secretary of State. However, he wrote a letter just days before Election Day stating the FBI had uncovered new emails.

Though Comey eventually said no new information was found in the emails, Clinton’s team blamed the letter for her sharp drop in the polls leading up to the election. 

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, and has since repeatedly torn into the former FBI director as a "liar" who damaged the bureau's reputation.

Since his ouster, Comey has become an outspoken critic of the president and his defenders in the GOP.