Christie: Aide’s Actions in ‘Bridgegate’ Were ‘Unacceptable’
Disclaiming any previous knowledge of what he called “unacceptable behavior,” Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday said he is “outraged and deeply saddened” by texts and emails implicating his office in the Fort Lee lane closures now known as “Bridgegate.”
This afternoon, following the release of several emails and text messages that seem to suggest one of his top staff members deliberately created the traffic problems in Fort Lee to punish its mayor, Christie released a public statement. In it, the governor said this “completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”
The statement comes in sharp contrast to Christie’s comments about the matter during Townsquare Media’s “Ask the Governor” show Dec. 23.
“I’ve asked my staff to give me a full briefing,” Christie said during the show. “They’ve told me everything that we know. None of it makes sense; it’s all about politics, none of it makes sense.”
Here is the audio of those comments:
Here is the full text of Gov. Christie’s Wednesday statement:
“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”
New Jersey 101.5 has obtained copies of emails exchanged by state officials before, during and after the unannounced lane closings at the George Washington Bridge between Sept. 9 and 13.
According to the Associated Press, Fort. Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich called the incident “political pettiness.”
“When it’s man-made and when it was done with venom and when it was done intentionally, it is, in my mind, the prime example of political pettiness. And congratulations because now New Jersey is back at the brunt of all those political jokes on political conduct. We’ve been sat back 20, 25 years. It’s the saddest, saddest, political commentary. It truly is,” Sokolich said.