Transcript for 'This Week': New Jersey Scandal
Welcome to "this week." Jersey jaw dropper. I am embarrassed and humiliated. Chris christie's make or break moment. Person close to me betrayed me. I am a very sad person today. Brand new details on investigation and the fallout and including "scandal"'s real life inspiration, judy smith, rudy giuliani and our powerhouse roundtable. And olympics alert, are our athletes safe? And pandemonium, washington's newest star ready for her closeup. All right here this sunday morning. Hello, again. I'm martha raddatz, great to have you with us. Two days after new jersey governor chris christie's marathon press conference, the bridge-gate scandal is swirling this morning. New jersey democrats are pushing to expand their inquiry beyond just the federal investigation. What happens now and how will it impact his presidential prospects? We're covering every angle. Let's get started with the latest developments from new jersey. Jim avila is there. Jim? Reporter: Good morning, martha. During the two hour news conference he answered every question, except the critical one, how can this happen? Dangerously leaving that to his critics, the press and federal prosecutors. This is not the bombastic chris christie america knows so well, meekly walking down the steps on a humiliating apology tour. But so far, and the investigations have just begun, nothing in the more than 2,000 pages of documents posted by his political enemies have found the lie in this blanket denial. I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, it's planning or execution. Reporter: What the documents do show is his aids and appointees were monitoring the traffic disaster they had created with a smoking-gun e-mail, time for traffic problems in ft lee. And christie allies had been warned of the congestion and emergency services had been seriously hampered. People protecting the public impaired public safety. Reporter: The new documents show the pleas were ignored for four days, with christie's press apparatus stone walling, and only with the new york sidestepped in were lanes reopened. Saying we have to fix this fiasco. And I will get to the bottom of this abusive decision. And he's hoping the prompt dismissal of his chief of staff bridgeet anne kelly and his political guru bill stepian, can reverse the impression that his brash style encouraged political vengeance. I am who I am, but I am not a bully. Reporter: This week governor christie will attempt to change the subject with the state of the state address on tuesday. And then later in the week, goes to florida to fundraise for other republicans, leaving behind all those state legislators to whisper about impeachment, and the federal prosecutors to ponder charges. Martha. Lot to ponder. And now the former mayor of new york and a friend of christie, rudy giuliani is here. Mayor giuliani, thanks for joining us. Thank you, martha. Go back to september. Four days, thousands of residents stuck on the bridge. Chris christie is the chief executive of the state. I can't imagine you as new york mayor not saying what the heck is going on over there. Forget that traffic study. And yet chris christie didn't do that. That's always simplistic after this happens, how could it happen, how could you not have known? How did president obama not know about the irs targeting right wing groups? Massive numbers of right wing groups -- but this is traffic, this affects everybody. This seems very different. Well, that affects a lot of people. And the reality is, things go wrong in an administration. And frankly, you know, he was in campaign-mode at the time. During campaign-mode you miss a lot of things. You're not paying as much attention. We see that with benghazi. Plenty of examples, every administration, every president, mayor, governor, something goes wrong below them and then the press ask, gosh, how do they not know? How did they not realize? The reality is, he says he didn't realize. He says he didn't know. I think it's pretty darn credible. He wouldn't make this blanket denial unless it's not true. But -- mr. Mayor, we're talking about two different things. You're talking about him saying he didn't know there was any scandal involved in this. He had to know there was all that traffic. Well, yeah, I'm saying, you miss things. Things happen in an administration, things happen when you're running for re-election. After the fact is seems like how didn't they know? But the reality is you miss a lot of things when you're running a government that's as complicated as new jersey, new york or the united states. This has happened to many presidents, governors, mayors, the present president three or four times where he said i didn't know. And the press says how could he not have noun? Let's talk about the culture of that office. Obviously he's dismissed his aid bridget anne kelly, and bill stepien. What about the culture of the office? What does that say about chris christie that they could do something like that? But this is what happens in political operations. I mean, people get wrong messages. It happens all the time. It happened, again, I go back to the irs scandal. The people in the irs, president obama wanted them to do this. President obama didn't want them to do this. But they got the sense because of that culture that they were supposed to target right wing groups. It was totally wrong. I think it was totally wrong for these people to have interpreted chris christie this way. He's handled it the best way you can handle it. Held a press conference, flatly denied it. If it's not true, he's put his political career completely at risk. Turns out there's evidence he knew about it, he's taken the risk that his political career is over. I don't think he would do that if there's any suggestion he knew about this. Do you think this goes away for chris christie? Have you talked to him? Yes, I think it goes away. Again, it depends on what happens. What facts come out. The other thing that's very impressive to me was, I think when this first came up, he wouldn't have made a joke had he had any knowledge. What -- when a politician is obfuscating, they're going to get very careful. And during the press conference, they're going to be careful with words like I couldn't remember, I'm not sure, possibly, maybe. This was very, very definitive. So I'm pretty sure that this is going to go away. It's going to take awhile. More inquiries. But ultimately his governorship will be the thing that gets evaluated. It won't be a plus, but not fatal. Thank you very much, mayor giuliani. And let's break it down. Nightline co-anchor dan abrams joins us. The investigations, how broad can they be and can they go after any of chris christie's e-mails? We haven't seen any of his e-mails in all of this. I think they're going to get all e-mails relating to the closure of those lanes on the bridge. From chris christie or anyone in the office. Chris christie says there are no e-mails that are relevant to that, we will see. The federal investigation, he's not as concerned about a possible federal crime. I don't see any possible federal crimes here. But what he is concerned about, or should be concerned about is the investigation itself. The fact it's a legislative investigation. There's a federal criminal investigation. And the question will be what do they find in connection with that that could have political fallout. Meaning do they find any correspondence, or witnesses say something that contradicts what christie said in the press conference? That would be my concern if i were him rather than true legal. It's the legal investigation that could lead to political fallout. And I think this could go on for a while, right? It could go on many, many months. The problem with these types of investigations is they take on a life of their own. You investigate one thing, and digging in, and lo and behold, you find something else. And wait a second, yes, we were investigating the lane closures to start with. Look at the road we are going down here. And then they move on to a different investigation. Those are the sorts of concerns you have to have if you're chris christie or his aids. Could be a long couple of months. Thanks, dan.
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