New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told reporters on Thursday that he had not “had a lot of sleep for the last two nights” — even though he claimed that he learned of emails proving his staff closed part of the busiest bridge in the world as political retribution just 24 hours earlier.
At a press conference on Thursday, Christie announced that he was “embarrassed and humiliated” that his top aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, had conspired to close lanes on George Washington Bridge last September to punish a Democratic mayor who had not endorsed the governor’s re-election effort.
Christie said that he had just finished his workout at around 8:55 a.m. on Wednesday when his communication director called to let him know that the media had published the emails.
“That was the first time I knew about this, the first time I had seen any of the documents that were revealed yesterday,” he explained to reporters. “If people find that hard to believe, I don’t know that else to say except to tell them that I had no knowledge this, the planning, the execution or anything about it. And that I first found out about it after it was over.”
“And even then, what I was told was that it was that it was a traffic study and there was no evidence to the contrary until yesterday,” the governor added.
But in a response to a question from CNN’s John King, Christie suggested that the scandal had been weighing on him much longer.
“I haven’t had a lot of sleep for the past two nights and I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching,” he said. “I’m sick over this. I have worked for the last 12 years in public life developing a reputation for honesty and directness and blunt talk, one that I think is well deserved.”
And when it came to the firing of Kelly, the former federal prosecutor said that he didn’t even ask her for an explanation.
“She was not given the opportunity to explain to me why she lied because it was so obvious that she had,” the governor remarked. “And I’m, quite frankly, not interested in the explanation.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Jan. 9, 2013.
(h/t: Crooks and Liars)