By Cleve Bryan
TRENTON, N.J., (CBS) — Before answering a single question Tuesday Governor Chris Christie’s chief spokesperson Michael Drewniak wanted to make it clear neither he, the governor’s senior staff, nor Governor Christie played any role in closing lanes last September at the George Washington Bridge.
“I can say with confidence and comfort that none of these people, starting with Governor Christie, had any involvement in this reckless and perplexing episode,” says Drewniak.
Through emails Drewniak was clued in early on about the lane closures but he claims they didn’t catch his attention.
“How many traffic problems happen in New Jersey on a given day? It seems like, and I don’t mean this with everything we know now, it seemed at the moment like a bottom of the barrel issue,” says Drewniak.
As media attention grew following the release of a scathing letter for Port Authority of New York and Jersey director Patrick Foye, Drewniak says he told the governor’s chief counsel there was a potential issue.
The response he got was that some of senior staff knew there was an issue, and that it was probably just politics within the Port Authority.
Drewniak spoke separately to the alleged lane closure conspirators Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein and now regrets trusting their dismissive responses.
“It made no sense, and had no value, so I don’t know who to believe and why they would do such a thing,” says Drewniak.
He testified for about six hours and said at one point he worried about being fired for causing the administration embarrassment when his profanity-laced comments surfaced in emails during the investigation.