In his hour long press conference, this morning, New Jersey Governor Christie expressed more sadness than anger that his deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly had lied to him about the bridge closure, which allowed him to go out and give false denials to the public. Christie said he had fired Kelly, and told “Bill Stepien, his 2013 campaign manager, not to apply to become state party chairman or to work with the Republican Governors Association, which Christie is taking over.”
Jim Geraghty puts his finger on the most troubling aspect of this.
Large stretches of Christie’s press conference made for a textbook example of authentic, emphatic expressions of contrition, including a raw, refreshing bluntness about his long ties to the aides in question, and direct, quick action to ensure consequences for wrongdoing. But there was a somewhat troubling aspect in that Christie remained to insist that not one but several members of his team behaved in reprehensible manner, abused the state’s authority, and were willing to lie to him about it. He may not have known about their actions, and may have been left in the dark the whole time… but he apparently has terrible judgment in who he hires and trusts.
My own feeling on this is that Christie will come out of it okay, if the investigation shows that he had no part in it. But that remains to be seen.
The transcript from the Press conference is here.