Christie Defends Trump Amid Questions About Russia, Comey

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is standing behind President Donald Trump as the administration deals with questions about Russia and the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey.

During the presidential campaign, Christie encouraged Trump supporters to chant “lock her up” in reference to Hillary Clinton and her handling of classified documents, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

The president has now come under fire for reportedly sharing classified information with the Russians. Christie said it’s apples and oranges, Haskell reported.

“The single biggest difference is he’s authorized to do it legally. She is not,” Christie said.

Asked about the recent firing of FBI Director James Comey Christie replied, “I have great respect for Jim,” but the governor would not comment on whether the president was stonewalling a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections.

Trump removed Comey as head of the FBI on May 9, raising questions about whether the White House wanted to scuttle the investigation.

Sources told CBS News Comey wrote a memo in which Trump asked Comey to end an investigation focusing on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump fired Flynn late on Feb. 13 for providing inaccurate accounts of his contacts with the Russian ambassador last year. The White House said Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Christie supports an investigation into possible collusion.

“They should do the investigation, they should do it as these investigations should be done in quiet, in private,” Christie said.

Christie said it takes “very significant evidence” to prove obstruction of justice and that facts surrounding Trump and an investigation involving Russia are still unknown.

“I’d ask everybody to take a deep breath before everybody jumps to conclusions,” Christie said.

Christie, a former U.S. attorney for New Jersey, says he’s prosecuted and won obstruction of justice cases and that they’re “very difficult” to prove.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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