Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), during an interview with CBS’ Charlie Rose that aired Monday, called the actions taken by one of his former staffers during the “Bridgegate” scandal “one of the most abjectly stupid things I’ve ever seen.”
Two of Christie’s former aides — Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, an official in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — were convicted Friday on all charges in their roles to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge to retaliate against a New Jersey mayor who did not endorse the governor for re-election.
Christie has maintained that he had no knowledge of Kelly’s actions when they took place. Though Christie was never charged in connection to the lane closures, the scandal contributed to the failure of his bid for the White House.
“What does it say about you and your staff that these people who worked for you did this?” Rose asked the governor.
Christie replied, “I’ve had 25 people serve on my senior staff over seven years and had one person who didn’t get it.”
“One out of 25,” he continued. “So I don’t think it says anything about me. I think it says everything about that person.”
Rose asked Christie why he thinks Kelly sought to punish the mayor.
“Wish I knew, Charlie,” he replied. “I wish I knew. I never could figure it out. It was one of the most abjectly stupid things I’ve ever seen. I mean, think about it. You know me. I’m pretty good at this political game. I’m up by 25 points in a re-election in a blue state. And they decide they’re gonna create a traffic jam in a town that’s a Democrat town, that I wound up winning two months later in the election?”
Christie, head of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s transition team, was reportedly considered as a running mate for Trump. Rose asked if the scandal lead to Trump choosing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence instead.
“Donald Trump didn’t call me and say, ‘You’re not gonna be vice president because of Bridgegate,’” Christie said.
Asked if he would like to serve as Trump’s attorney general if he is elected, Christie resplied, “I don’t necessarily want to be anything, except helpful to him.”