Chris Christie update: Gov. claims critics are playing “gotcha” while Kelly pleads the Fifth

The one-time 2016 GOP front-runner also "unequivocally" denies he had prior knowledge of Bridgegate VIDEO

Topics: Video, Chris Christie, Chris Christie Bridgegate, Chris Christie Ask the Governor, Bridget Anne Kelly, Bridget Anne Kelly subpoena, Bridget Anne Kelly Fifth Amendment, Bridgegate, Chris Christie "just a game of gotcha", CNN/ORC International, ,

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continued his attempt to weather the Bridgegate storm and salvage his national aspirations, while the former Christie aide accused of ordering the creation of a traffic snarl on the George Washington Bridge responded to a subpoena by invoking her constitutional right to plead the Fifth Amendment.

Here’s the latest news on Christie’s continuing troubles:

  • Making his monthly appearance on the WKXW-FM radio show “Ask the Governor,” Christie continued to insist he had nothing to do with the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. “Did I know anything about the plan to close these lanes, did I authorize it, did I know about it, did I approve it?” Christie said. “Unequivocally no.”
  • Also during his radio appearance, Christie acknowledged his office had recently received a subpoena from the U.S. attorney. “We had already communicated to [the U.S. attorney] that we’d cooperate voluntarily. They decided to send a subpoena, and that’s fine. We are complying with that in the same way we are complying with legislative subpoenas,” Christie said.
  • Christie went on to claim that the Bridgegate controversy had devolved into “just a game of gotcha,” and that he had no idea of the significance of the traffic ensnarling Fort Lee, N.J., until he read about it in the Wall Street Journal in early January. Speaking to “Ask the Governor” host Eric Scott, Christie said, “[T]here’s traffic up there every day. That’s not something that rises to the gubernatorial level.”
  • The polls, meanwhile, continue to be unkind to Christie. The latest, from CNN/ORC International, finds Christie trailing Hillary Clinton in a possible 2016 matchup by 16 points. When a similar question was asked of respondents just a month ago, Christie held a 2-point lead. What’s more, Christie continues to drop from the top spot among GOP contenders. He’s now trailing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and is tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
  • But the most important news of the day may very well have not come from Christie himself but rather his former close aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, who is alleged to have ordered the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. In response to a subpoena from the New Jersey joint legislative committee investigating Bridgegate, Kelly declined to produce requested documents, opting instead to plead the Fifth.

You can check out video of Christie’s radio appearance below, via New Jersey 101.5 radio:

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith, and email him at eisquith@salon.com.

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