POLITICS
06/07/2017 06:55 pm ET

Chris Christie: Trump's Talks With Comey Just 'Normal NYC Conversation'

Believe it or not, we've heard this defense before from Team Trump.

James Comey hasn’t even testified yet, and already the Trump administration and its supporters are playing defense.

To that end, the team trotted out Republican New Jersey governor (and former Trump campaign transition chairman) Chris Christie on Wednesday, who tried to spin President Donald Trump’s apparent attempts to influence then-FBI Director James Comey as no more than a typical New York City conversation.

We shouldn’t have expected the president to know better, Christie told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, because “[Trump] has never been inside of government, and quite frankly didn’t spend a lot of time interacting with government except at the local level.”

“And so... the tradition of these [law enforcement] agencies is not something that he’s ever been steeped in,” Christie continued. “So I think ... 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.”

In other words: If Trump has successfully been influencing officials at the local level his whole life, why should we expect anything different from him once he was elected to the highest office in government?

Good point, Christie. Our bad!

If the whole “this is just how people talk” defense sounds familiar, there’s good reason for it: It’s the same one the Trump team used last summer after audio emerged of Trump bragging to Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women.

Then it was “locker room talk,” now it’s just a “normal New York City conversation.” Neither one is an adequate explanation.

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