New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday defended President Trump for his use of "normal New York City conversation" that he allegedly made to former FBI Director James Comey about ending an investigation into national security adviser Mike Flynn.
Christie floats the first defense: Trump considers chats w Comey normal New York City conversation.(Christie smirking while saying this) pic.twitter.com/qpQ99LSBS6— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) June 7, 2017
The topic came up during an MSNBC interview, which turned to the opening statement Comey is expected to deliver to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Released Wednesday, the statement says Trump asked Comey to end his probe into Flynn, talked about "loyalty" and pressed him to "lift the cloud" of the Russia investigation over his administration.
Christie, who initially ran against Trump in the GOP primary, later supported him and now leads Trump's drug abuse commission, said Trump's unconventional manner of speaking to people comes with the territory of electing an "outsider president."
"They elected someone who had never been inside government and quite frankly didn't spend a lot of time interacting with government except at the local level," Christie said. "The idea of the way the tradition of these agencies is not something he's ever been steeped in."
According to Christie, Trump is still learning about public backlash to the things he says.
"I think over the course of time, we can talk about different examples, what you're seeing is a president who is now very publicly learning about the way people react to what he considers to be normal New York City conversation," Christie added.
Christie cautioned against jumping to conclusions, saying he doesn't know whether Trump himself told any members of his staff about his version of a private conversation he had with Comey.
Asked if he believe's Comey's version of the facts, Christie responded that he wasn't sure. "Hard to tell," he said.
Comey will testify before lawmakers Thursday at 10 a.m.