WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday described President Donald Trump’s interactions with ousted FBI Director James Comey as “normal New York City conversation,” simply misunderstood by Beltway ears.
“What people don’t understand is that they elected an outsider President,” the Republican lawmaker told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “They elected someone who had never been inside government. … 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.”
The governor’s comments come just hours after Comey released his opening statement ahead of his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In it, the former FBI official — who was leading the probe into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 election — wrote that Trump asked for Comey to pledge his loyalty. Comey also said the President also asked him to stop investigating ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, and publicly declare that Trump was not under investigation.
Christie, who served as the head of Trump’s transition team before being replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, went on to say it’s “hard to tell” whether he believes Comey’s version of the facts.
“I’ve gotten along well with him,” Christie said. “We worked together. I have a lot of respect for Jim. I’m not going to presume anybody is lying.”
He said it was inevitable that Comey would be giving a testimony “once the President made the decision to fire” him.