So the Chris Christie "I been duped" press conference is coming shortly and we'll be live blogging it here. You can watch the live feed of the press conference here.
11:08 AM: "I am embarrassed and humiliated."
11:09 AM: Fired Bridget Kelly "because she lied to me."
11:13 AM: Christie must either be very certain Bridget Kelly won't rat him out or very certain that he had nothing to do with this because, man, he is burying her.
11:15 AM: Says he's "lost confidence" in former campaign manager Bill Stepien because of tone of emails. Essentially fires him from series of nominations and consultancies.
11:19 AM: The information out there, the pervasive of knowledge of this incident among his senior staff make it really difficult to believe that Christie had nothing to do with this and really knew nothing about his staff's involvement until yesterday morning. That said, if you look within the four walls of this press conference, he's handling this about as well as he possibly could. Again, that positive presentation, saying all the right things, still has to be stood up against the documentary record. But within the bounds of this press conference, I think he's doing pretty well.
I would also say this: If it eventually comes out that Christie did know about this or was involved, I think he'll have to resign. He's been too total in his denial, too abject in his apology to come back from it.
11:30 AM: Feel like Christie is getting himself into a bad place suggesting that there may have been traffic study that had "political overtones or side deals." From what I can tell, it's pretty clear there was no traffic study. Certainly no real traffic study. All of that seems to have fallen apart. Just not sure why he went there.
11:35 AM: "I don't think I've gotten to the angry stage yet." Okay, c'mon. Just not something that's credible coming from Chris Christie.
11:37 AM: Two nights? He only found out yesterday morning, right?
11:38 AM: Still doing a decent job here. But as Christie goes, it doesn't get better. Partly that's because some of his more charged personality is coming out and partly because he's having to get into the details. And the details just really don't add up. Or you really have to pull and tug to make them fit.
11:43 AM: "I'm not that person." Possibly 3rd degree felony lack of self-awareness.
11:48 AM: Interesting quote: "So part of this is I never saw this as political retribution, because I didn't think he did anything to us."
11:51 AM: Not helping himself holding out this traffic study thing. No credible evidence there ever was one. Why go there? Even if he thinks there's some chance one existed?
11:56 AM: If I'm one of Christie's non-fired press handlers, I'd have ended this about 15 or 20 minutes ago.
11:57 AM: Christie really didn't think Baroni might have a problem after he resigned as soon as this story broke like a month ago?
12:01 PM: I think Christie's created a bit of a problem by at the beginning just say unabashedly these folks did something bad, they're guilty, they're gone. But as this has gone on, he's getting into whether the traffic study may have existed. He's talking about this as mainly being a matter of the tone of the emails. I'm not saying he's contradicting himself. But the drift is very apparent.
12:07 PM: "I don't believe I've lost the trust of the people of New Jersey."
12:13 PM: "I have absolutely nothing to hide."
12:18 PM: From a friend on the DC defense bar: "He's done. If the US Attny is looking at it, they’ll also look at whether this happened in other instances. It had to have happened. He’s Bob McDonnell in slow motion…."
12:19 PM: Just if you're trying to help Christie, he needs to shut up about whether this might still have been a traffic study or perhaps one that simply had "political overtones."
12:27 PM: "It wasn't good. It was an awful, callous, indifferent thing to do."
12:42 PM: "I'm a sad guy standing here today."