Christie: Trump doesn’t give nicknames to people he respects

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE does not give nicknames to people he respects because “he’s afraid what’s going to come back.”

Christie spoke at the Manhattan home of hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen on Tuesday to a crowd that included Trump’s former economic adviser Gary CohnGary David CohnOn The Money: Senate rejects border declaration in rebuke to Trump | Dems press Mnuchin on Trump tax returns | Waters says Wells Fargo should fire its CEO Gary Cohn says Trump trade adviser the only economist in world who believes in tariffs Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger MORE and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, Axios reported.

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He told the group to keep an eye out on which Democrat candidates get nicknames in 2020.

"If he respects you, you don’t get a nickname, because he’s afraid what's going to come back,” Christie said of Trump.

The former New Jersey governor said an example of this is Trump’s relationship with Congress’s top Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerWhy we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds Schumer congratulates J. Lo and A-Rod, but says 'I'm never officiating a wedding again' MORE (N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiMulvaney: Military projects impacted by wall funding haven't been decided yet Left-wing Dems in minority with new approach to spending Julian Castro hints at brother Joaquin's Senate run MORE (Calif.).

“So Cryin’ Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerWhy we need to build gateway now Campaign to draft Democratic challenger to McConnell starts raising funds Schumer congratulates J. Lo and A-Rod, but says 'I'm never officiating a wedding again' MORE gets a nickname, because [Trump] has no respect for Schumer,” Christie said.

“But Nancy Pelosi’s got no nickname. It’s just Nancy. And if she doesn’t have a nickname by now, she ain’t getting any,” he added.

Trump has been using nicknames and insults to taunt his political opponents since the 2016 Republican presidential primary, tagging former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) as “low energy” and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Ocasio-Cortez's favorable, unfavorable ratings up: poll Rubio, Menendez request probe into administration's nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia MORE (R-Fla.) as “Little Marco.”

The president still uses the moniker “Crooked Hillary” to attack his former Democratic opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE.

Trump frequently goes after Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (Mass.), who is running for president in 2020, over her past claims of Native American heritage, calling her “Pocahontas." 

Christie, a close ally of the president, was an early supporter of Trump after ending his own 2016 campaign. He was fired after Election Day as the chief of Trump’s transition team.

The New Jersey Republican has been promoting his new book “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics.”

He criticizes several of Trump's ex-Cabinet secretaries and advisers in the book, calling them “amateurs,” “weaklings” and “unconnected felons.”