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Bridgegate, the scandal that made a new jersey governor chris christie apologize.
I believe that all of the people who were affected by this conduct deserve this apology.
That is why i am giving it to them.
I also need to apologize to them for my failure as the governor of the state to understand the true nature of this problem sooner than i did.
So they can see receipt began in september when a massive weeklong traffic jam happened in fort lee, new jersey.
This was caused by close access lanes ordered by the port authority on grounds it was conducting a traffic study.
There was no study.
It had been orchestrated by top officials of christie's staff.
Retaliation against the mayor of fort lee for not supporting his reelection campaign.
I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.
There is no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely acceptable and showed the lack of respect for their role of government.
We get it, governor, you are sorry.
But did you know about it?
I had knowledge -- i had no knowledge of this.
The planning, execution, or anything about it.
I first found out after it was over.
Even then, what i was told, was that it was a traffic study.
There was no evidence to the contrary until yesterday.
Here's the thing, when there is a study, there are people conducting it.
And authorizing it, not to mention the results.
In december, when he shrugged off questions, no study had been produced.
Two port authority officials had resigned.
He did not know that this was happening, in december, he had close people resigned from the port authority.
This is his deputy chief of staff, not someone in an agency, his inner circle.
What do you know when he did the press conference, what was he told?
It is not just about a lane closure time, what did he know in december, after that.
These investigations will get to the bottom of all that.
Let's give governor christie the benefit of the doubt.
Very believable he did not know, i have worked for a number of politicians, you have these offices where they have to do a lot, especially governors offices and presidents that have a lot to do.
There are many times that staff nubbers do things on their own.
When it comes time to fess up, as the governor try to ask a month ago, it is not surprising that somebody who had a secret, they know what is about to happen, they hope it goes away on its own.
It is very believable.
The question is whether the environment and the office of seeking rich mission became commonplace.
If we assume the staff act without his consent, there is a deeper issue.
Chief executives are responsible for the culture they create.
He had people who thought if they did this it would be with his approval and that was consistent -- they clearly thought that.
In retrospect, maybe not, he clearly allow that culture.
Will this scandal will hurt chris christie's possible bid for the white house?
The jury is divided.
Having worked in politics, it is hard for me to imagine, and the environment he is going to be dealing with in the republican party, this is going to make it very hard.
45 minutes of national airtime trying to pin the governor on bridgegate.
I think he looked presidential, he looked contrite, he apologized and fired people.
He talked without a teleprompter, he had a political windfall.
What comes next?
The u.s. attorney in new jersey has opened a preliminary probe into these lane closures.
Chris christie used to be the u.s. attorney of new jersey, knows office well, knows what they're doing.
Preliminary inquiry, i think the point that has been made, if you are chris christie, a very smart and savvy political operator, to come out and make these points, so dead set that he knew nothing about it.
He better be darn sure, i imagine he is there is no paper, no way this could be tracked back to him.
Not only for his political future, but when you get federal prosecutors involved, particularly the current u.s. attorney in new jersey, a veteran of the clinton justice department, he is not going to put himself in a position where what he is saying today can be used against him.
Governor christie apologized
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