By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Two of New Jersey governor Chris Christie closest aides have been fired, and more heads may roll in the wake of a discovery that traffic closures on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, NJ last fall were, in fact, political payback for their mayor not endorsing Christie’s reëlection effort.
Christie minced no words:
“I come out here to apologize to the people of New Jersey,” he said this morning at the start of his press conference in Trenton.
He said that e-mails that confirmed the suspicions of many Democrats left him “embarrassed and humiliated.”
Christie announced that he had fired his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, for lying about her involvement in the affair.
“There’s no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this government,” Christie said, adding that he also didn’t like the tone of e-mails from his campaign manager.
So, Christie said he has also asked Bill Stepien, his former campaign manager and once his choice for state GOP chairman, to withdraw from consideration for the GOP post because of the “callous indifference” he displayed in e-mails on the traffic jams.
Nor will Stepien continue to consult for the National Republican Governor’s Association, which Christie chairs.
The governor insists he knew nothing of his administration’s involvement before the e-mails surfaced, but takes responsibility for what happened.
Hear Gov. Christie’s full statement in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 15:11)…