New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told listeners on a radio program Monday night that the fallout from the George Washington Bridge lane closures last September has devolved into "just a game of gotcha."
He also maintained he didn't realize the magnitude of the scandal until reading about it in the Wall Street Journal in October.
But Christie did conclude in his monthly "Ask the Governor" program on 101.5 FM that if "traffic up there" — meaning Fort Lee — had been brought to his attention prior to the Journal's report, it likely wouldn't have raised his interest.
"Let's face it, [program moderator] Eric [Scott], there's traffic up there every day," Christie said in the opening segment of the hourlong program, his first monthly appearance since inauguration to his second term. "That's not something that rises to the gubernatorial level."
He remained stalwart about his lack of knowledge about the closures of three access lanes from Fort Lee to the busiest bridge in the country over a three day period from Sept. 7-9.
"Before these lanes were closed, I knew nothing about it," he said. "I didn't plan it. I didn't approve it. I knew nothing about it."
When referring to the "game of gotcha," he likely meant the recent crush of accusations claiming political payback and gamesmanship ranging from the mayor of Hoboken to former political candidate and U.S. Olympian Carl Lewis.
Banished Christie confidant David Wildstein, fired from his post at the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York for his role in the bridge scandal also fired back at the governor on Friday, claiming there is evidence Christie knew of the closures last year.
A federal investigation into the closures has also reportedly begun and a large number of agencies and individuals, including the governor's office, has been issued. Christie has hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation.
Contact Brian X. McCrone at 215-854-2267 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @brianxmccrone on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.