New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) defended on Thursday the report commissioned by his administration that cleared him of any wrongdoing associated with lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, while denying that he inspired his former staffers to order them to take place.
“I don’t believe it was for me,” Christie told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. “I don’t believe it was for me.”
The interview aired hours after the report by the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher blamed the September 2013 incidents on former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey appointee David Wildstein.
The report also accused them of harboring an unidentified “ulterior motive” and “animosity” toward Fort Lee, New Jersey Mayor Mark Sokolich (D), but rejected the theory that the closures were ordered as retaliation against Sokolich for not endorsing Christie during his successful 2012 re-election campaign.
“These people have their own professional and personal reputations,” Christie said of the firm. “Six of them were former federal prosecutors. They’re not going to whitewash anything for me and put their reputations at stake.”
Though neither Wildstein nor Kelly were interviewed for the report, the firm did determine that Wildstein mentioned the Fort Lee closures during a 9/11 memorial event taking place during the September 2013 lane closures, a conversation that Christie told Sawyer he did not recall, since he talked to “hundreds” of people that day.
“I’ll tell you this. I’ll tell you what he didn’t say,” Christie said. “He didn’t say, ‘Hey, by the way governor, I’m closing down some lanes of the George Washington Bridge to stick it to the mayor. Is that OK?’ That, I’d remember.”
Christie also referred to the closures as “inexplicably stupid” on several occasions, and denied the argument that he or his governing style contributed to creating an abrasive culture around his administration.
“I don’t believe that I did,” he said. “But I’m certainly disappointed in myself that I wasn’t able to pick up these traits in these people.”
Watch Sawyer’s interview with Christie, as aired on ABC on Thursday, below.
Trump is ‘one pointy white hat shy of a Klan rally’: GOP strategist Rick Wilson ripped Trump as a ‘flagrant racist’ on MSNBC
Republican strategy ripped President Donald Trump for being a "flagrant racist" during a Monday night appearance on MSNBC.
Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Wilson about Trump's latest nativist attacks on young women of color in Congress.
"Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy? Is this Donald Trump and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the voters we already have and energizing them and getting them to come and squeak out that electoral formula once again?" O'Donnell asked.
"Absolutely, Lawrence. As everyone else stated on the show, it’s been obvious for a long time from the long arc of his dad to redling to the Central Park Five to birtherism to this stuff today, this guy, he's racist adjacent in of the best day of his life," Wilson is explained.
Stephen Colbert says Trump hates The Squad because ‘he’s the leader of the rival gang The Klan’
Stephen Colbert returned to "The Late Show" on Monday after a two-week summer vacation and wasted no time updating his viewers on the latest from "Racist-in-Chief" Donald Trump.
"There were some big stories while we were gone. The sun rose in the East, a bear relieved itself in the woods, Donald Trump was racist," Colbert said.
"And this wasn't just any run-of-the-mill, this was a humdinger. A new personal best at being the worst," he explained.
"Yesterday the president pinched out a steaming pile of tweets against freshman Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Oman of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachuttes and Rashida Tlaib on Michigan -- known in DC as 'The Squad,'" Colbert said, while the audience clapped loudly at the mention of "The Squad."
Seth Meyers hilariously ridicules Trump for not knowing the Constitution: ‘Article II — nobody’s ever seen it before’
After a long vacation, late-night shows returned to bring some levity to the difficulty of the news cycle. Such was the case when "Late Night" host Seth Meyers ridiculed President Donald Trump for not knowing The Constitution that well.
"Number one: there's no crime. And how do you obstruct when there's no crime?" Trump asked during a brief statement Friday. Martha Stewart would take issue with that statement.
"Also take a look at one other thing. It's a thing called Article II. Nobody ever mentions Article II. It give me all these rights at a level nobody has ever seen before. We don't even talk about Article II," Trump said.