MSNBC host Rachel Maddow responded on Monday to accusations by members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) staff that her network is out to get him, pointing out that Christie’s administration has still not explained the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that has led to several Christie appointees being subpoenaed.
“The question of why matters,” Maddow said. “Governor Christie’s office has tried to shame people for asking what the reason might plausibly have been. But they have offered zero explanation of their own.”
A Christie spokesperson released a statement to NBC News criticizing not only the allegations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer (D) on Saturday, but Maddow’s Jan. 9 commentary wondering if the lane closures were not part of a vendetta against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, but instead the latest of Christie’s clashes with state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D) and other lawmakers.
“Yes, it is pure speculation,” Maddow acknowledged. “It has always been presented as such by us, and by me. We presented that theory as a way to get at the most important and, as yet, totally unexplained question still at the center of this unfolding scandal which is, Why? What is the plausible explanation for this? Why did whoever ordered those lanes closed order those lanes closed?”
Maddow pointed out that Christie admitted to not asking former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly why she called for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee” in an August 2013 email to a Port Authority appointee, David Wildstein, even after firing her, saying he was “not interested at the moment.”
“Maybe he was just mad,” Maddow said. “But we still don’t know if Governor Christie is interested in the explanation now. So far, nobody on his side has offered any explanation whatsoever as to why this happened, what was the trigger. And until that question is answered, people are going to keep asking what the answer might plausibly be, even if Governor Christie’s spokesman prefers that we all stop doing that and attacks us when we do.”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Monday, below.