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‘It’s all a joke’: Sununu says in addressing comments about Trump at D.C. roast

Gov. Chris Sununu Twitter

A day after making national headlines for delivering a scathing critique of former President Trump at a Washington D.C. political roast, Gov. Chris Sununu is stressing his remarks, which included him describing Trump as “f–g crazy,” were not to be taken seriously.

“It’s all a joke. I don’t think he’s crazy,” Sununu told WGIR’s Chris Ryan on Monday morning.

Sununu’s comments about the former president were delivered at Gridiron Dinner, a Washington D.C. social event where prominent politicians from both parties and the press take aim at each other in roast-like speeches and satirical musical numbers.

Trump wasn’t Sununu’s only target – he made fun of Democrats, other Republicans, and at one point called his own father, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, an “old b–d.”

But Sununu’s comments about Trump, who remains deeply popular with many GOP voters and hasn’t ruled out running for president again in 2024, stole the show.

“The press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy,” Sununu said at one point Saturday night, “and I’ll say it this way: I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out!”

Sununu also told a story of a ride he shared with Trump from an airport to a political rally. Sununu said as their motorcade passed flag-bearing crowds Trump spoke obsessively about his polling numbers. But at one point, Sununu described Trump pausing to note a man holding a flag and sign.

“I can’t help but notice the guy he pointed at, the sign he’s holding says, [’F—k] Trump!,” Sununu said.

Sununu's relationship with Trump hasn’t always been an easy one for him to navigate, but it has been largely allied, as he supported Trump in 2016 and 2020. Yet during the course of Trump’s presidency, Sununu’s relationship with him became more distant. In 2019, during an appearance on the Howie Carr Show, Sununu called himself a “Trump guy through and through.” Later that year, a smiling Sununu worked the crowd at a Trump rally in Manchester, happily autographing Make America Great Again hats.

But by the summer of 2020, unlike other top New Hampshire Republicans, Sununu opted out of campaigning alongside Trump.

Sununu has also repeatedly criticized Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud in New Hampshire, and more recently objected to Trump’s suggestion that rioters charged for storming the capital on January 6, 2021, warrant consideration for pardons.

“There is a rule of law,” Sununu said on CNN in January.

Trump allies have, meanwhile, gone after Sununu. Trump’s 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who lives in Windham, said earlier this year that Trump had asked him to find a Republican to challenge Sununu.

“Gov. Sununu, in the president’s estimation, is someone who’s never been loyal to him. And, you know, the president really said it would be great if somebody would run against Chris Sununu,” Lewandowski told Howie Carr in February.

Copyright 2022 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPRâââ

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