Christie Fires Top Aide ‘Because She Lied To Me’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced Thursday that he had fired his deputy chief of staff who was implicated in the closure of the George Washington Bridge, explaining that she had violated his trust.

“This morning I’ve terminated the employment of Bridget Kelly, effective immediately,” he announced in a press conference. “I terminated her employment, because she lied to me.

Christie explained how he was deceived in a meeting last year.

“I brought my senior staff together, I think about four weeks ago tomorrow, and I put to all of them one simple challenge — if there is any information that you know about the decision to close these closures in Fort Lee, you have one hour to tell either my chief of staff, Kevin O’Dowd or my chief counsel Charlie McKenna.

“I told them in an hour I was going to go out in a press conference and if no one game me other information to the contrary, that I was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter,” he continued. “Over the course of the next hour, Kevin and Charlie interviewed each member of my senior staff, came back and reported to me that they all reported that there was no information other than what we already knew that had been testified to by Senator Beroni regarding this incident.

“I then questioned Kevin O’Dowd and Charlie McKenna directly, since they are the only two who report directly to me,” he added. “And they assured me that they had no information that would change my ability to be able to say that no one, in response to angie’s question, on my staff was involved in this matter. That was obviously a lie.”

“And the e-mails that I saw for the first time yesterday morning, when they were broken in I believe the Bergen Record story, proved that that was a lie,” he said. “There’s no justification for that behavior. There’s no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this government. And as a result, I’ve terminated Bridget’s employment immediately this morning.”

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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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