Giuliani: ‘Fifty-fifty’ whether Christie knew of bridge orders [UPDATED]
Former mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested in a radio appearance that it's an even bet that Chris Christie knew about the orders to snarl traffic on the George Washington Bridge.
"It's fifty-fifty, it leaves you with no possible way of knowing did she discuss it with him or didn't she discuss it with him," said Giuliani, in an interview with Geraldo Rivera on 77 WABC about the Christie administration's reported misconduct.
"I like Chris very much and he's being unfairly treated, and he's a good friend," added Giuliani, who has been one of Christie's most visible defenders since the advent of "Bridgegate."
A top aide to Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, sent a now-infamous email in August saying it was "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," which eventually resulted in the closure of lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Christie subsequently denied any advance knowledge of the scheme and fired Kelly (without asking her any questions about the incident, which is now under investigation by a special legislative commission, the U.S. attorney and, ostensibly, the Christie administration itself).
Giuliani has praised the governor's response, saying that he "acted like a chief executive" in his apologetic press conference. But Giuliani has also said that Christie's staunch denial "has put his political career completely at risk if it turns out there is some evidence that he knew about it."
"The reality is, even if you are a hands-on mayor or governor or chief executive, at best you must know about 10 or 20 percent of what's going on," Giuliani said in the interview with Rivera on Wednesday. "Otherwise, you'd never get through the day. I was very hands-on, and there was lots of stuff I didn't know, and lots of things either that went wrong or right, that I would find out about afterwards."
UPDATE: In a phone interview with Capital, Giuliani said his "fifty-fifty" comment referred to whether a New York Times article on Bridgegate showed with certainty that Christie knew about the bridge order, and not to the question of whether Christie knew.
The question he answered, Giuliani said, was about whether "I think the New York Times article basically 100 percent proved that Christie knew."
His opinion on the article, Giuliani said, is that "it leaves you with no possible way of knowing."
Personally, Giuliani said, "I'm 100 percent he didn't know of the bridge orders."
The question from Rivera isn't clearly worded, but it appears to refer to "the central question" in that New York Times article--whether the email evidence showed Christie knew--rather than to the story itself.
Here's the relevant part of the conversation between Giuliani and Rivera:
Geraldo: "But what about Kate's central question--Kate Zernike of the New York Times' central question: What about that email from Bridget Anne Kelly? I mean isn't that --'time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee'--I mean, Mayor Giuliani, doesn't that infer that there are, you know, there was was this conversation before about stuff--
Giuliani: "With the governor--"
Geraldo: "--like that?"
Giuliani: "No, it doesn't. It's fifty-fifty. It leaves you with no possible way of knowing, did she discuss it with him or didn't she discuss it with him. The reality is …"
You can listen to audio of the interview here.