Sununu — Arrest Will Bring Sympathy to Trump, Create ‘Political Circus’
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu was critical of possible criminal charges against former President Donald Trump and offered a possible timetable for his decision on a 2024 presidential run.
In a series of all-caps messages Saturday morning on his Truth social media platform, Trump wrote that he expects to be arrested Tuesday morning and called for protests.
Citing “illegal leaks” from a “corrupt and highly political Manhattan District Attorney’s office” that is “funded by George Soros,” Trump said he will be arrested with “no crime being able to be proven.” The charges, which he didn’t specify, would be based on “an old and debunked (by numerous other prosecutors) fairytale.”
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Sununu told Jake Tapper the arrest would only serve to drum up sympathy for him, even among those who don't support him. He discussed Trump's message with a group that weren't supporters of the former president's, but felt he was being attacked.
"This is likely some misdemeanor on an issue seven years ago. This has nothing to do with January 6th," Sununu said. "I just think that not just the media but the Democrats have misplayed this in terms of building sympathy for the former president. It does drastically change the paradigm as we go into the '24 election."
The charges are expected to stem from a grand jury investigation into "hush money" payments Trump and his lawyers made to women who had sexual encounters with him before he was president.
Sununu said that Trump doesn't have all the responsibility to make sure that those who heed his call to "protest, take our nation back" remain peaceful in order to avoid a repeat of the violence at the Capital on January 6.
"You can't just put it on the former president. It's our responsibility, society and our community to make sure that if we have something to say we're doing it in the right way and making sure we're having a positive effect going forward. It is going to be a political circus, there's going to be a lot of unknowns."
Foreshadowing a 2024 Presidential Run
The appearance caps off a week in which Sununu has opined on national matters, while still not making a decision on his own 2024 presidential run. That decision could be made by summer.
"I think everyone will have to make the decision as we get to summer. So, obviously, we're a little closer there, but our message is really gaining traction. It's about competency-related results, leadership that can bring something to the table, that can work with Republicans, work with Democrats, get immigration reform done, balance budgets, address all of these real serious issues that we have in this country, as opposed to just living in the headlines," Sununu said.
After signing an executive order in December banning TikTok from state issued phones and computers, Sununu told USA Today it would not be practical for it to be banned from being used in the United States.
The governor said he's not a fan of government banning anything, but supports users being aware of the potential consequences.
"You have 100 million TikTok users in the country or something," Sununu said. "Our job is to make sure folks know that if they're choosing to use TikTok, they're choosing to hand their personal information over to the Chinese government, effectively. So we need to make it very clear about what is being transferred, what information is being made available."
Some Republicans Lost Their 'Moral Compass' on Ukraine
Sununu also weighed in on U.S. support for Ukraine's war with Russia in a Washington Post op-ed piece after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis described it as a “territorial dispute."
He said that opposing aid to Ukraine because President Joe Biden supports it is not viable policy.
"History has taught us that complacency and appeasement benefit our enemies much more than they benefit the United States. Some in the Republican Party have lost their moral compass on foreign policy, as evidenced by former president Donald Trump, who once called Putin’s invasion 'genius' and 'savvy.' As Republicans, we should support freedom, not abandon it. We must not equivocate, but rather lead with strength and courage in the mold of Ronald Reagan."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH