Christie: Trump-Cohen speculation now at ‘hysteria’ level

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Sunday that speculation surrounding Michael Cohen's reported claim that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE knew about a controversial 2016 meeting between his eldest son and a Russian lawyer has risen to a level of "hysteria."

"Everybody needs to take a step back here," Christie said on ABC's "This Week." "There's a certain level of hysteria that goes along with this story, the way it's reported, and quite frankly I don't think that what we know right now, what we know, merits that."

Christie's comments came after CNN reported that Cohen was willing to tell special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE that Trump was aware of a June 2016 meeting between his son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Trump set to host controversial social media summit Trump associate Felix Sater grilled by House Intel MORE and Natalia Veselnitskaya, an attorney with reported ties to Russian officials.

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The president has denied knowing about the meeting before The New York Times approached him with information about it last year.

Cohen, the president's former longtime personal attorney, is under investigation for his business dealings by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. He has not been charged with a crime, but speculation has swirled that he could be seeking to cooperate with prosecutors.

Christie said on Sunday that Cohen's case likely has nothing to do with Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that any deal would be struck with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

"Cohen still has to make a deal and that deal is probably not going to be with Bob Mueller," he said. "That deal is going to be with the Southern District of New York, who are the people who are investigating him for potential crimes and the ones who initiated the raid of his office and hotel room and home."