TODAY   |  January 21, 2014

Amid scandals, Christie inaugurated for 2nd term

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will mark the start of his next term Tuesday, as his administrations continues to be damaged by scandals surrounding an orchestrated traffic jam and claims by the mayor of Hoboken that the governor held Hurricane Sandy relief funds hostage. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>>> meantime, important day for governor chris christie willie 's in for natalie with more on that.

>> hey, matt, thanks. chris christie will have a national audience today for his second inauguration. this one, of course, clouded in controversy. nbc's kelly o'donnell is in trenton, new jersey, for us. kelly , good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, willie . this is supposed to be a good news day for chris christie . begins with a church service and the swearing in ceremony. christie will give an inaugural address , talk about big, bipartisan themes but also continue to take on what is politically unpopular. that triumphant walk on election night. a sweeping victory that was supposed to set the tone for this inauguration day . but two weeks of scandal over bridge traffic, sandy relief and the culture of the christie administration has taken a toll.

>> new jersey governorship is a powerful governorship, christie is a powerful guy, a guy that knows how to use it.

>> reporter: despite multiple investigations, today is still billed as a celebration for chris christie and his supporters. 1,100 guests are expected at an ellis island party tonight paying $500 a person. today's swearing in ceremony for christie and his lieutenant governor comes one day after kim was helping volunteers on a sandy repair project and facing heat over allegations made by dawn zimmer .

>> i deny any suggestion made by mayor zimmer that there was ever any condition placed on the release of sandy funds by me.

>> reporter: but the lieutenant governor would not take questions.

>> lieutenant governor, did you ever tell mayor zimmer not to talk about your conversation?

>> reporter: zimmer made another tv appearance insisting the lieutenant governor told her last year that they would get money if she backed a development project.

>> i know it's not right, and if you tell anyone, i will deny it.

>> reporter: so those controversies have put a cloud over the second term. but today's interference may not be manmade. the winter storm has organizers concerned about attendance at tonight's inaugural event. willie ?

>> kelly o'donnell, beautiful morning down in the state capitol in trenton, new jersey.