Gov. Chris Christie took a combative tone Monday in pushing back against critics over Bridgegate – dismissing former aides as convicted felons and liars who shouldn’t be believed, and calling a Democratic state senator “a crazy quack” and “lunatic.”

Christie criticized coverage of the federal trial of former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey deputy director Bill Baroni, saying people are too quick to believe they and David Wildstein, another former Port Authority executive who pleaded guilty in the case, said from the witness stand.

“These people who testified are convicted liars and felons. Bridget Kelly is a convicted felon. Bill Baroni is a convicted felon. David Wildstein is an admitted felon. David Wildstein is an admitted liar,” Christie said on New Jersey 101.5’s ‘Ask the Governor.’

Gov. Chris Christie on "Ask the Governor" on Nov. 21, 2016. (Louis C. Hochman/Townsquare Media NJ)
Gov. Chris Christie on "Ask the Governor" on Nov. 21, 2016. (Louis C. Hochman/Townsquare Media NJ)

“Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni have been characterized by the United States attorney as having fabricated testimony on the stand, and that he intends to pursue enhancements to their sentence because of what he believes to be their perjury on the stand,” he said. “Yet if you listen to the press corps in this state, every word that came out of Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni’s mouth was gospel truth. It’s ridiculous.”

Christie refused to comment on legislation proposed by Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, calling for a special prosecutor to investigate Christie’s role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal.

That bill followed a complaint filed by a citizen in Fort Lee municipal court, which a local judge referred to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

“Listen, he’s crazy. He’s a quack. Stop, I’m not going to respond to it. He is a crazy quack. And everybody in the Statehouse knows that Ray Lesniak’s crazy, and they put up with him because he’s nuts,” Christie said.

Asked about Republican Sen. Jennifer Beck signing on as a co-sponsor of Lesniak’s bill, Christie said it was a political calculation based on her potential vulnerability in the 2017 election.

“She’s running for re-election in a tough district, where she intends to be challenged by Democrats. And she wants to do everything she can to distinguish herself from her party. That may be a wise decision on her part or an unwise one. I think it’s unwise,” Christie said.

As he has many times, Christie said multiple investigations of the GWB scandal – by outside counsel his office hired, by the Legislature and the federal government – haven’t found he was involved.

“I know everybody wants to try to find something else, but it’s been three years. If there was something else there, someone would have found it. And there isn’t. And they all wish and hope and dream it could be something else, but you know what, it isn’t,” Christie said.

Christie referred to Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, who headed the Legislature’s investigatory committee, as “partisan Democrat hacks.”

“I know it deeply disappoints Sen. Weinberg that she can’t be proven to be true and correct and right. And I know it deeply disappoints Assemblyman Wisniewski, who now is shockingly running for governor. I know it disappoints a lunatic like Ray Lesniak,” Christie said. “By the way, talk to anyone in the Legislature privately, and they will tell you that he is not with it. Not of right mind.”

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