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
Add to Briefcase
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 »
WWE WRESTLING OWNER
Trump to Nominate Linda McMahon to Head SBA
9 hours ago
THE LATEST
$6.3 BILLION FOR RESEARCH AND OPIOIDS
Senate Sends Medical Cures Bill to Obama’s Desk
14 hours ago
THE LATEST
HAD CONSIDERED RUNNING FOR GUV IN 2018
Oklahoma AG Pruitt to Get the Nod for EPA Chief
15 hours ago
THE DETAILS
TO BE ANNOUNCED IN COMING DAYS
Trump To Nominate Gen. John Kelly For Homeland Security
18 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump has chosen Gen. James Kelly to be his secretary of homeland security, making Kelly the third general tapped by Trump to serve in his administration. The official announcement is likely to come in the next couple of days. Kelly, who did not endorse Trump during the campaign, "was the commander of U.S. Southern Command until earlier this year."

Source:
EFFORT LIKELY TO DIE IN COMMITTEE
Jordan Can’t Force a Floor Vote on Impeaching Koskinen
1 days ago
THE LATEST
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan attempted to force a floor vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but "the House voted overwhelmingly to refer it to the Judiciary Committee. ... The committee will not be required to take up the resolution." Earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "made a motion to table the resolution, which the House voted against by a 180-235 margin, mostly along party lines."
Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login