TODAY   |  February 02, 2014

Christie counterattacks after bridge scandal claims

“There are people who will keep turning on the governor because they want immunity,” said NBC’s David Gregory of “Meet the Press,” who offered his perspective on the intriguing new claims by a key figure in the Gov. Chris Christie bridge scandal.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> jersey governor chris christie hoped today would be all about the super bowl being held in his home state. instead he's goings-on the offensive in the george washington bridge scandal. in a letter to his supporters, christie 's administration orders the former aide who now claims the governor knew of the lane closures as they happened is only trying to save himself. david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." good morning. good to see you.

>> good morning, lester.

>> this letter was written by the attorney for david wildstein who supervised the lane closures. there's a suggestion of evidence, but no real evidence put forward here, only the line that it exists. so when you take that down, does the governor make that a good point, when the governor says it may be about this person trying to save himself?

>> he does make a good point. wildstein turned over a ton of documents to the legislature. that's how we first found out about the e-mail to him that said time for traffic problems in ft. lee and he said "got it." if he says evidence exists that the governor knew or was involved in the plotting of this, then where is it? what he's saying is the governor knew at the time. where he contradicts him is governor christie said no, no, i didn't learn about this until after it was over and the lanes were reopened. wildstein was saying he knew as the lanes were being closed down. that doesn't give any information about whether the governor was involved in planning or executing the closures.

>> christie didn't leave himself a lot of wiggle room. he had the two-hour news conference where he said he didn't know about it in advance. he is hitting back right now, a blistering memo attacking wildstein and the media coverage saying this is a bombshell that's not a bombshell. is this really his best defense right now, a strong offense?

>> i'm not sure. some of that defense is pretty harsh. talking about david wildstein as kind of a tumultuous figure, talking about actions he took as a 16-year-old. they were both in high school together. i'm not sure that's where the christie administration is going to be most effective. here is the problem, lester. when you are sath governor let alone somebody who might want to run for president and you are facing a criminal probe by the u.s. attorney and a legislature inquiry as well over a political scandal that reached your top advisers, it's not pretty. it's not pretty because these teams will keep coming, there will be people who will keep turning on the governor because they want immune any. wildstein wants his legal bills paid.