New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the aides close to him involved in the lane closures onto the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, N.J., last year were “inexplicably stupid,” in his first television interview since news of their involvement turned the story into a national spectacle.
“When things were first reported, I said: ‘This can’t possibly be true. Because who would do something like that?'” Christie told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an interview aired Thursday. “Sometimes, people do inexplicably stupid things.”
“And so that’s what makes it so hard then to, as the guy in charge, you … none of it made any sense to me,” he added. “And to some extent still does not.”
Christie’s interview with Sawyer came on the same day a law firm hired by the Christie administration produced a report concluding Christie did not play a role in the lane closures.
The report from Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP, the firm, concluded Christie’s ex-deputy chief of staff, Bridget Ann Kelly, and David Wildstein, a former top official at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, both “knowingly participated” in the plan to shut the lanes. It also found their actions were at least partly retaliation on Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who refused to endorse Christie for re-election. Prior to the closures, Kelly wrote a now-infamous email to Wildstein: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Christie told Sawyer the past few months have been the “toughest” of his professional career.
“You don’t sleep, you don’t eat… you struggle. You struggle,” he said. “But I do believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Democrats blasted the report, since it came from a law firm hired by the Christie administration, and they are casting Christie’s interview with Sawyer as an attempt to “play victim.”
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