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Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie clashed with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle on Wednesday during a panel discussion at the SALT conference in Las Vegas on the Mueller report.
At one point, the Republican Christie dismissed her argument against President Donald Trump as an "interesting MSNBC point."
Ruhle began invoking Trump's repeated attacks on the Mueller Report, calling it a "treasonous hoax," and began listing Trump's potential business dealings with Russia and his campaign's "eagerness" to obtain assistance from Russia as reasons why Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation wasn't a "hoax."
Christie responded by insisting that the president "says lots of things," many of which he wished Trump wouldn't say.
"I don't understand why people are surprised by any of this. I've known Donald Trump for 17 years. He is no different today than the day I met him in May 2002," Christie said. "This is the way he speaks, this is the way he acts, and by the way, this was the way he spoke and acted during the campaign."
"So you're saying he's a liar, a bully, you get what you get, you don't get upset?" Ruhle responded.
"You used those adjectives, I did not," the former 2016 candidate responded. "You asked, 'treasonous hoax,' he uses these words- he's a salesman. He is at core a salesman who uses hyperbole to try to convince people of his position."
"Sir, those are lies," Ruhle declared.
"That's what you say, Stephanie," Christie countered. "That's his opinion and an opinion can't be a lie."
Christie, who is now a political analyst for ABC News, later argued that there "is a distinct difference between what has been reported about the Russia probe versus what's actually factual, pointing to the disputed claims that outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to wear a wire in the Oval Office versus claims made by a "proven liar," former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and pointing to the DOJ inspector general's conclusion that he made misleading statements to investigators.
"How come Andy McCabe can be a proven liar and President Trump could be a great salesman?” Ruhle asked the former governor.
"You know, that's an interesting MSNBC point," Christie responded.
"No!" Ruhle exclaimed. "Get out of town with that. Seriously, seriously."
Christie defended his stance, saying that McCabe and Trump are held to "two different standards," one by the DOJ and the other by the American people.
The annual SALT conference, which runs from May 7 to May 10 in Las Vegas, describes itself as a "global thought leadership forum devoted to unlocking growth opportunities in the fields of finance, economics, entrepreneurship, public policy, technology, and philahtropy."
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