Trump campaign chief defends 'lock her up' convention chant

The refrain, criticized in the media as "extra-judicial," reflects the thoughts of many Americans, Paul Manafort said Wednesday.

CLEVELAND: Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort defended Republican delegates’ chants of "lock her up" — "her" being former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — during New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Wednesday night speech, saying they reflect the attitudes of many Americans.

Manafort said Wednesday morning that Christie’s address at the Republican National Convention prompted the response, and added that it represents the concern that the justice system works differently for the rich and powerful than it does for average Americans.

"I think it was the refrain Governor Christie was calling for in his speech," he said at a Wednesday morning press conference. "It probably reflects the attribute of a lot of people in America, where 70% of people in this country think she is guilty and that justice wasn’t done."

Christie conducted a mock trial of Clinton’s record as secretary of state from the podium on Wednesday night, asking delegates to respond to "guilty or not guilty?" each time after laying out his case. The crowd repeatedly broke into chants of "lock her up" during the address.

Manafort also defended the 60 Minutes interview used to roll out the newly minted Trump-Pence ticket on Sunday night, saying widespread criticism in the press that it was awkward is off-base.

"First of all, I thought the 60 Minutes interview didn’t show awkwardness but a comfort level that they could interrupt each other," he said. "They will be spending time on the trail together, and I’m comfortable that it is a less awkward situation than I’ve seen in many marriages, and less awkward than what you’re likely to see at the Democratic convention next week."

Clinton is expected to name her pick for the VP slot on the Democratic ticket this week, according to media reports. She is looking for a vice presidential candidate with national security experience, according to The New York Times. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are the leading contenders, per CNN, and Bloomberg has reported that retired U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis is also in contention

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