Chris Christie Sticks to His Story: ‘I Had Nothing to Do With This’

The New Jersey governor said in an interview that he still doesn’t even know if a traffic study was done.

NRCC keynoter: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie
National Journal
Jack Fitzpatrick
See more stories about...
Jack Fitzpatrick
Feb. 3, 2014, 3:55 p.m.

New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie took ques­tions Monday about the “Bridgeg­ate” scan­dal fol­low­ing a new ac­cus­a­tion from a Port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cial. And nearly a month after first ad­dress­ing the top­ic, his main point was the same.

“I had noth­ing to do with this,” Christie said in an in­ter­view with loc­al ra­dio sta­tion NJ 101.5. “No know­ledge, no au­thor­iz­a­tion, no plan­ning, noth­ing.”

Christie did not spe­cific­ally ad­dress the claims made by Dav­id Wild­stein, a Port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cial whose law­yer said last week that there’s evid­ence Christie knew about lane clos­ures on the George Wash­ing­ton Bridge as they happened in Septem­ber.

But on Monday, Christie re­peatedly said he had no part in the plot. He re­coun­ted how he learned of the scan­dal, say­ing he was told the lanes were closed for a traffic study and that he knew noth­ing about polit­ic­al re­venge against Fort Lee May­or Mark Soko­lich un­til he read about it in The Wall Street Journ­al on Jan. 8.

In fact, Christie said, he still does not know if a traffic study was done.

“I still don’t know wheth­er there was a traffic study that morph­ed in­to some polit­ic­al shenanigans,” he said. “Or did it start as some polit­ic­al shenanigans that turned in­to a traffic study?”

Christie has em­phat­ic­ally in­sisted that in­form­a­tion about lane clos­ures would not have made it up to his of­fice and that his aides could have taken the ac­tion en­tirely without his know­ledge. He im­me­di­ately fired Brid­get Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff, after news of the scheme broke.

When asked by in­ter­view­er Eric Scott about how his of­fice could have sought re­tri­bu­tion against a may­or without his know­ledge, Christie re­it­er­ated that he del­eg­ated enough au­thor­ity so that he would not have known any­thing about traffic is­sues.

“Let’s face it, Eric. There’s traffic every day,” he said.

Christie also said the me­dia has fo­cused more than the pub­lic on the scan­dal, a point some­what val­id­ated by the fact that no listen­ers called in with more ques­tions on the lane-clos­ings. He answered ques­tions on a wide range of top­ics, in­clud­ing pen­sion re­form, in­come taxes, and land­lord com­plaints.

Des­pite doubts about Christie’s polit­ic­al fu­ture, in­clud­ing his chances in the 2016 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, Christie said he’s con­fid­ent that he’s still pop­u­lar among New Jer­sey voters.

“They know the truth,” Christie said. “They know me. They just reelec­ted me re­sound­ingly.”

What We're Following See More »
FORMERLY THE DEPT’S TOP ATTORNEY
Transportation Sec. Names Special Adviser for Metro System
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has appointed a veteran legal insider with strong personal ties to the Obama administration to serve as his special adviser focused exclusively on fixing the Washington region’s troubled Metro system. Kathryn Thomson, who was expected to leave her job as the Department of Transportation’s top lawyer, instead will stay on as Foxx’s special adviser on Metro oversight." She'll start this week.

Source:
DEATH PENALTY CASE
SCOTUS Finds Racial Bias in Jury Selection
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that prosecutors in Georgia violated the Constitution by striking every black prospective juror in a death penalty case against a black defendant. The vote was 7 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. The case, Foster v. Chatman, No. 14-8349, arose from the 1987 trial of Timothy T. Foster, an African-American facing the death penalty for killing Queen Madge White, an elderly white woman, when he was 18."

Source:
RETRACTED FUNDING
Congressional Report Says NFL Tried To Influence Concussion Study
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

report from House Democrats charges that NFL officials retracted funding for a $16 million NIH study on head injuries after repeated unsuccessful attempts to direct the money away from a Boston University researcher and instead to scientists who might be more favorable to the league. Democrats have been trying to go after the NFL over its handling of concussion science, although the sport's popularity and increased lobbying presence has made that difficult. The new revelations about meddling in the NIH study should offer more ammo. 

Source:
LETS LOWER COURT RULING STAND
SCOTUS Denies Appeal from Virginia GOP
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A unanimous Supreme Court has dismissed a Republican appeal over congressional districts in Virginia. The justices on Monday left in place a decision by a lower court that said Virginia illegally packed black voters into one district to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents." The Court said the Republican elected officials who challenged the decision did not have standing to do so.

Source:
THE QUESTION
How Much Has Trump Loaned His Campaign?
16 hours ago
THE ANSWER

"More than $43 million, although the loans are loans in name only — Trump says he has no intention of recouping the cash."

Source:
×