Governor Chris Christie: “I Feel Like I Let People Down By Not Knowing”

ds interview Yesterday, Governor Christie sat down with ABC’s Diane Sawyer at his home to discuss the release of the independent review conducted by Gibson Dunn. Some highlights from the interview below:

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: This report says I had no knowledge of it before it happened, nor did I authorize it or have anything to do with it. And that’s the truth. That’s what I said on January 8th.

DIANE SAWYER: But does it make you feel clueless? Does it make you feel like, what was wrong with me?

CHRISTIE: Not clueless. But it certainly makes me feel taken advantage of and also, more importantly, I feel like I let people down by not knowing. Sometimes people do inexplicably stupid things.

· SAWYER: Do you really believe they didn’t do it because they thought that’s what would please you? If you didn’t know about it, that they were going to try to please you?

CHRISTIE: I can’t get into what their motivations were except to say that anybody who really knows me would not believe that doing something inexplicably stupid would please me. I’m a passionate direct guy.

· SAWYER: What did you say to your children? What did you say?

CHRISTIE: Our oldest son was home on break. And he asked me, did you do this? It was a tough question, that your son would ask you. And I said, no, I didn’t. And he said, good, I’m glad.

· SAWYER: Ronald Reagan said that leadership is not just about doing great things yourself. It’s about inspiring great things in every person around you. Did you fail your definition of leadership?

CHRISTIE: Well, in this instance, I certainly — this is not something that I think I inspired. And to the extent that any of them thought this was acceptable conduct, then I fell short. And I don’t think that in the end, I obviously didn’t make it clear enough to these folks that this kind of stuff was unacceptable. This is an abuse of the trust of the authority that was granted to you. And that’s unacceptable. And to the extent that no one, that anyone didn’t understand that, believe me, from this day forward, anyone who works for me will understand that.

· SAWYER: As you know, the word bully, bullying comes up over and over again. Have you asked yourself, did I do anything to create the climate in which this happened?

CHRISTIE: Sure. I spent a lot of time the last 11 weeks thinking about what did I do, if anything, to contribute to this? And I don’t believe that I did. But I’m certainly disappointed in myself that I wasn’t able to pick up these traits in these people. I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t look closer, that I didn’t — that I trusted too much. [TLS]

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