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TODAY   |  January 10, 2014

Chris Christie apologizes over bridge delay scandal

The New Jersey Governor embarked on a road trip Thursday, apologizing to citizens and officials after emails revealed an orchestrated traffic delay by members of his staff last September. Christie maintains that he had no idea of his staff’s actions. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>> and that is today's top story this morning. the political payback scandal that is raising questions about chris christie 's political future. he says he played no role in shutting down traffic as a means of political retribution. but this morning, the new jersey governor is facing a new lawsuit, more evidence to be released today. let's get to kelly o'donnell at the state house in trenton this morning. hi to you, and good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. more headaches and more problems today for governor christie . just as he is trying to get control of this crisis. the new jersey state assembly here has a committee that's been investigating the traffic lane closures. it's expected to release about 1,000 pages of documents including e-mails from once trusted christie aides. governor chris christie made a road trip seeking forgiveness. a personal visit to visit with the mayor of ft. lee, new jersey.

>> i'm here today to also apologize to the people of ft. lee. and, you know, terrible thing. and we're going to work to regain their trust.

>> reporter: mayor sokolich took his apology.

>> reporter: e-mails suggest it was planned as political punishment for the ft. lee mayor who did not support christie 's reelection. christie fired his deputy chief of staff and parted ways with his campaign manager. his appointee at the port authority wildstein resigned and took the fifth. christie says he feels betrayed.

>> i'm stunned. and what does it make me ask about me? it makes me ask about me what did i do wrong to have these folks think it was okay to lie to me?

>> reporter: the governor said he was told that no one on his team caused the traffic mess. christie says he knew nothing until a new jersey paper published the e-mails wednesday morning.

>> i was standing there in my bedroom with my ipad looking at that. how incredibly sad and betrayed i felt.

>> adding, he has yet to reach the anger stage.

>> i'm sad. i'm sad, that's the predominant emotion i feel right now. is sadness.

>> critics perceptions that christie fosters hardball tactics. he denies that.

>> i am who i am, but i am not a bully.

>> reporter: and more problems today potentially for the governor because he has been named in a lawsuit, a class action case brought from some residents of burgon county saying they were treated as trapped rats and unable to get to work where their pay was docked. also today, the governor does not have public events. he says he will continue to talk to employees and work to find out more answers, and he expects more facts will be coming out. savannah?

>> all right, kelly o'donnell this