tv Charlie Rose PBS November 8, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PST
. >> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening looking at the politics of 2016, as voters go to the polls tomorrow. we talk with john dickerson of cbs news. >> what looks like is happening is donald trump is trying a kind of two-pronged approach. one, is he going into democratic states in minnesota, michigan, trying to break through the democratic wall. that is a very tough thing to do. what republicans worry about is that he is chasing fools' gold. that he is chasing some closeness in the polls but there is a reason those states go for democrats in the ends. >> rose: we continue this evening with the raqqa and the announcement from coalition forces that they would begin an attack against the headquarters of isis. we talk with "the new york times" reporter eric schmitt. >> this phase is the beginning of an encirclement by these kurdish and arab fighters on the ground, these militia backed by
u.s. special forces to circle raqqa which is essentially the administrative capitol of the islamic state. and basically cut it off from resupply of fighters, of ammunition, while they train up additional arab fighters who will go into the city and actually fight block to block. >> rose: and we conclude this evening with governor chris christie of new jersey talking about the bridge gate trial and verdict and his political future. >> i can't tell you how many timessive been told my political career was over. here i am. and i will tell you this. what matters to me most is my reputation. and that's what i am fighting for. and that's why i am here telling you the truth of not only what i know but the truth of what happened in the trial because if you read the reports of the trial, you wouldn't even know what happened there. >> the political campaign as voters go to the polls, the attack against raqqa, and an exclusive interview with governor chris christie of new jersey when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose is
provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: tomorrow is election day, after a year and a half of one of the most di vicive campaigns in american history, americans will choose their next president. over the weekend donald trump and hillary clinton made their closing arguments and rallies across crucial swing states. clinton campaigned today in pennsylvania. michigan and north carolina. trump spoke to voters in pennsylvania, michigan, north carolina, florida and new hampshire. on sunday fbi director james comey announced that the agency
had not changed its opinion that clinton should not face criminal charges after review of new emails. today cbs news poll gives hillary clinton a four point lead overdone ald trump nationally. joining me now is my friend and colleague john dickerson of cbs news. he has been covering this campaign, let me begin with this question, where are we at this moment on a monday afternoon before voting starts tomorrow? >> well, where we are is that there was some tightening in the polls, what looks like is happening is donald trump is trying a kind of two-pronged approach. one is he going into democratic states in minnesota, michigan, trying to break through the democratic wall. that is a very tough thing to do. what republicans worry about is that he is chasing fool's gold, that he is chasing some closeness in the polls but there is a reason those states go for democrats in the end. and when barack obama is in michigan whipping up the vote there, it it is going to be time wasted. so that puts his other path through the traditional battleground states and has been said many times before but bears repeating because 16, because 18
states go for democrats in the last six years, they, hillary clinton starts with a, an advantage, 242 roughly electoral votes that she starts with. and as a result, she has a faster path to 270 than donald trump 678 he has to win a combination of a lot of states. and that makes it very hard for him especially when he's not up in those states. >> reporter: . >> rose: there's also this. two of the most least popular candidates to run for the presidency. it seemed as you subbinged when trump was in the news, his numbers went down. cline in their support.to as on >> yes, and when they were in the news, it it was often because they were bruising their own achilles heel, if that is the way it works which is to say for donald trump, he was involved involved in fights that his instincts can't let him get out of people said if we worry about his temperment and judgement which is a big achilles heel for him, people thought he couldn't occupy the office of the
presidency because he lacked impulse control. when you get in a fight with a gold star family, that's what is happening. when you continue a fight about the weight of a miss universe, are you demonstrating that fear in public in realtime for voters. hillary clinton when she was answering questions on the email server t both reinjured that sense people had that she sort of made her own rules. but then in her explanation about the server and her explanation about the relationship between the state department and the clinton foundation, it was raising questions a fresh, because the answers didn't sparkle with transparency for voters who felt even when she was explaining something, that they weren't getting the straight story. >> rose: is all this going to make governing even more difficult. >> i have already had conversations with leaders, particularly on the republican side who are looking for those first steps from hillary clinton to get a sense of whether she will be a sort of barack obama late term fellow who has said i'm going to use my pen and phone to whip congress into shape or whether she will come in with that more accommodationist, sort of behaving like she did as a senator, recognizing there are shared powers and she needs to
make accommodations accommodatio republicans even if they are in the minority in the senate. or is she going to make-- or is she going to appeal to the left wing, the sort of bernie sanders, elizabeth warren wing. >> rose: we know candidates are running around as fast as they can to as many airports as they can but they seem to be focusing at least on three states. pennsylvania, florida and north carolina. why are they crucial and who they who are they crucial to. >> mostly for donald trump. he has to win, if hillary clinton wins the 240 electoral votes that traditionally-- traditionally go to a democrat from virginia and north cart linea she gets 270. if she wins those two plus virginia and south florida she gets 270, it is easy for her. trump has to rack up florida, north carolina, ohio, nevada-- nev inform looks like it might be gone. colorado, new hampshire. he has to put together a lot more states. if he could seal pennsylvania from the democratic colume that opens it up a little more for him. codo pennsylvania, ohio, iowa
and then maybe one more depending on what it is. so for her it could be an early night when the virginia closes at 7:00 and north carolina at 7:30. so we'll be looking to those states both to see if she can tap ture the battleground states and hold her state of pennsylvania which is the kind of most, kind of tipping point state for the democrats. >> if donald trump loses florida, is it over? >> yes, i think it is. not only because he needs florida, because it's a big electoral rich state but it also will suggest something about both the turnout of latino voters but it also means hillary clinton will have done well enough, probably, with suburban college educated white women voters which romney won by six points but which she has been up by 25 points in one national poll. those voters, if you expect them to vote similarly you could imagine them voting the same way in colorado or in north carolina. other states that if she wins plus virginia, then she is over 270. >> rose: thank you so much. i will see you tomorrow. >> all right, thanks, charlie.
>> rose: back in a moment. we turn now to raqqa syria, u.s.-backed millic-- militia groups are launching an operation to liberate the isis stronghold and headquarters. the coalition will include arab, kurdish and turkish fighters. u.s. defense secretary ash carter welcomed the announcement with french and british defense officials also pledging aerial support. isis seized raqqa in january 2014 turning the city into its tragic headquarters. the news comes as the battle for mosul continues in iraq putting isis on the defensive in two of its most critical cities. joining me now from wash torntion eric schmitt of "the new york times." eric, thank you for joining us. >> good to see you, charlie. >> rose: tell me what this means coming now. >> right, well, if you think of this as a one-two punch, mosul is the first punch, we are now into week four of that campaign as you said. this is the second punch. and it's coming from a different direction. the idea is to put pressure on the islamic state from both sides. it's headquarters in iraq and
its headquarters in syria. so this phase is the beginning of an encirclement by these kurdish and arab fighters on the ground, these militia that are backed by u.s. special forces to encircle raqqa which is essentially the administrative capitol of the islamic state. and basically cut it off from resupply of fighters, of ammunition, while they train up additional arab fighters who will go into the city and actually fight block to block. >> rose: one of the dimensions her is having people on the ground who are willing to come in and fight isis in syria, correct? >> that's right. that's what has been hard. up until now, the u.s. is basically relied on this coalition of kurdish and arab fighters but it's predominantly the kurdish fighters that have taken a string of towns all along the syrian turkish border, now they're needing to expand that force which now numbers
around 30,000 overall, but only about a third of those are arab fighters. and they want to send arab fighters into the predominantly arab city of raqqa so you don't have sectarian violence. and right now they don't have enough of those. and so they're going to use this period of time while they encircle raqqa to also train up additional forces to go into the city itself at some later date. >> this will be a huge, if in fact they are successful in mosul and raqqa, a huge vicary. i assume for president obama. >> absolutely. absolutely, charlie. it's unclear whether this will actually happen by the time of the inauguration next january, of course. this is-- because we're still talking about weeks of operations just to ensierk el and envelope this city much less to go in and take it down. so experts i talked to yesterday when this news broke from were sceptical the president would actually see the city fall, the city of raqqa, that is, fall, but you never know. >> and in fact he could argue in history's sake that they began the initiative, they began the attack while he was still president.
>> absolutely. >> rose: let's assume both efforts are successful in mosul, in the reasonable future, let's say within six months. what is the implications for isis and the terrorism that they represent? >> well, on one level it's very important. it that you are basically taking away and defying the islamic state its caliphate, its religious state. and of course that's how they distinguish themselves from other terrorist groups including al-qaeda. and that they have actually been able to establish a state, that governs, collects taxes, it administers the citizens within its reach. if you take that away, it is still a very potent terrorist organization, but it's more like it's pred certificator, al-qaeda. and of course it will still pose a danger to the people in the region, it still has networks, of course, to europe, and most of all, the concern for americans, of course s that through its social media, it can reach in and basically touch people here in the united states and hopefully inspire them to carry out attacks.
>> who is the leader of the coalition. >> the leader of the coalition. it's interesting, charlie, that you have, obviously you have iraqi forces in the lead. but you have some 5,000 american troops on the ground playing a very prominent role in iraq, both advising and assisting on the ground, and of course, leading the air strikes against the islamic state in iraq. and the other side, in syria, you have this coalition of militia. of course it's in the a state that you are dealing with, as they have in iraq. it is a coalition of various militia, kurdish and arab fighters, primly, although turkey has contributed some as well. and the u.s. is a much smaller presence. only about 300 or so special forces that are on the ground advising. so the u.s. plays a very important role in helping to plan and carry out the attacks. of course carrying out the majority of the air strikes. but the prenom-- predominant forces on the ground are iraqis and syrians, syrian kurds and
arabs in syria. eric, thank you so much. >> you're welcome, charlie. >> rose: we'll be right back, stay with us. we turn now to exclusive interview with governor chris christie of new jersey. he has served as governor since january of 2010. last friday a jury convicted two of his former aides in the so called bridgegate trial. bridget kelly who served as his deputy chief of staff and bill ba roney executive director of the port authority were found guilty on all accounts. bun of baronnie's associates david wildstein pleaded gimentee earlier and became thes were keution's star witness. the three were accused in 2013 of conspiring to close access lanes leading up to the george washington bridge in a scheme of political retaliation. the lane closures resulted in five days of gridlock in fort lee, new jersey. looming over the federal trial was the extent of governor christie's knowledge of the plot, evidence presented by the defense and prosecution suggested christie was told about the lane closings.
that federal prosecutor paul fishman has said he only sought indictments against people he believed a jury would convict beyond a reasonable doubted. governor christie was questioned under oath for 12 hours. once considered the gop's leading candidate for president, the scandal has been detrimental to his reputation and political career. the governor who leads donald trump's white house transition team in the event trump becomes president was passed over for the vice presidential nomination despite his early endorsement of the republican presidential nominee after christie's own campaign for the nomination failed. he says he has been waiting for three years to tell his side of the story and clear his name. i spoke with him on sunday at his home in new jersey. and here is that conversation. governor, thank you for doing this. you have been waiting for awhile to talk about what happened at bridgegate. what is your reaction to the verdict? >> well, charlie, you know, my
first reaction was that the jury confirmed what i thought on january 9th, 2014. nearly three years ago, i had 24 hours to make decisions back then. and i thought there were three people responsible. david wildstein, billed barony and bridget kelly. and here we are, three investigations later, federal grand jury investigation, investigation by democratic-led legislature and what is the conclusion. the conclusion is that there were three people responsible. >> rose: and the question is, though, what does it say about you and your staff, that these people who worked for you, did this? >> wildstein didn't work for me, bill baronee was appointed by me, i take full responsibility for him, but not for wild steen, never for wild steen, that was baronee's choice. but let me be clear on the folks close to me, my staff. i thought about this in the last week. i have had 25 people serve on my senior staff over seven years.
and i have one person who didn't get it. one out of 25. so i don't think it says anything about me. i think it says everything about that person. the fact is if 24 other people have served with great honor and intig rit and effectiveness and i'm so proud of all of them. some of them are still with me. some of them have gone on to other things in the private sector or public sector. m very proud of those people. but i'm deeply disa ponted, as i said, with that one person who decided to commit a crime. >> rose: why do you think she did it? >> i wish i knew, charlie. i wish i knew. i never could figure it out. it was one of the most abjectly stupid things i've ever seen. think about it, you know me. i'm pretty good at this political game. i am up by 25 points for re-election in a blue state and they decide they're going to create a traffic jam in a town that say democrat town that i wound up winning. >> rose: she showed some evidence of being scared during
her testimony. she even testified you had thrown a bottle of water at her. i can't imagine someone like that doing something and not telling you because she would be damn worried about the fact that if you discovered it, how you would react. >> well, first thing s she wasn't scared of me. and that incident about a water bottle, complete fab ri kaition. >> rose: never happened. >> never happened. and there were a number of staff people in the room during the briefing she referenced and cabinet members who will tell you that it never happened. and even a u.s. attorney himself on the steps of the courthouse after the trial said that both defendants had completely fabricated their testimony. so don't take my word for it, charlie. take the u.s. attorney's word for it who investigated this case for 15 months before bringing charges and bringing charges only against bridget
kelly and bill baronee with the cooperation of david wildstein. but let me say something else. i have to tell you, the idea that some one would think that this type of thing made any sense is a complete mystery to me, always has been. i don't know that we will ever know the real story about what happened. but i know what the jury determined. the jury determined that her story was untrue. and that she was responsible for what happened along with bill baronee and david wild stiern. those are the facts. >> rose: here is what "the new york times" said in an editorial. mr. christie remained the off-stage villain, for possible or casual trial observers no the to discertain from witness after witness the evidence of viciousness and grubiness of the governor and his administration. whatever the verdict is delivered in the bridgegate trial, they said, the picture of mr. christie and his administration that has been exposed is devastating. >> yeah, from "the new york times," charlie. i'm overwhelmed given that they have never written a positive editorial about me in seven years. first off, let's consider the source. but secondly let's consider the facts and not the hyperbole.
this is from the prosecution. in their closing arguments. they said seven different people came into this court room and directly contradicted the characterizations of the governor and the facts as put forward by bridget kelly. and the prosecution said in their closing, who are you going to believe, bridget kelly or seven other people without came in here and directly contradicted her. the fact is, that the jury found she was responsible, as was mr. ba ronee. >> an do you not know motivation. >> no, never spoke tone them afterwards, charlie, couldn't. lawyers descended and i never have spoken to them. but i can only-- listen, i can only tell you what they said if the trial. >> rose: but it is not just her. david said that he told you that he told you about it it at the 9/11 memorial. >> that's not what he said, by the way. >> rose: and that you laughed. >> listen, first of all, it is not what he said. first thing he said was that bill baronee told me, right?
and what did they-- they told me what? even wildstein said that all ba ronee said to me was that there was traffic at the george washington bridge, and that the mayor was not getting his phone calls returned. now charlie, i have to tell you, i have absolutely no recollection of any of them saying nik like that to me that day, so let's be clear. but even if they had,-- . >> rose: are you saying you have no recollection, are you not saying can i swear to you that they never said anything like that, are you saying i don't remember. >> i don't remember any of it. but what i will tell you is this, charlie. if they would have toll me that hey, we're creating traffic at the george washington bridge, in order to punish the mayor for not endorsing you, i would have remembered that. and they never said that. >> rose: bridget kelly said in the beginning she understood it to be a traffic study. >> correct. that's what she understood it to be. at. me give some context to
in the course of my administration, there have been over a thousand traffic studies done. charlie, not one of them has ever been brought to me to ask in is the only one? over a thousand traffic studies done? i mean it's strange cred allity and that is item jury didn't believe t charlie. the jury didn't believe that someone would wander into the governor of new jersey's office and ask them to approve a traffic study. it's ridiculous on its face. and it's clear and i want everybody out there to understand this. even after all the sensationalism, all the headlines, all the ink spilled on this, no person has ever testified, even the convicted felon haven't testified, that we said to the governor this was an act of political retribution and he said okay. nobody has ever said that. but if you read the stuff in the papers you would think that is what happened. >> rose: they ask of the judge, do they have to find that there was intent for political retribution to con viblght and the judge said no. >> i understand that. but by the way, none of them said, listen, charlie, do you think for a second with all the things that were said in that trial that if they had told me
that this was an act of political retribution, that they wouldn't have said it. of course they would have. they never did. in fact, the only thing they ever told me, by the way, i don't remember any of them ever telling me this. that there was a traffic study. and that's why i think it's important for me to tell you about the fact that there is over a thousand traffic study-- . >> rose: when did you first know this was happening. >> first week of october, now remember these traffic studies happen first week of september. first week of october i saw a story in "the wall street journal" talking about this traffic problem in september. and the fact that the port authority said it was traffic-- . >> rose: when? >> first week of october 2013. and i then went to my chief of staff and my chief counsel and said to them i handed them the story and said find out what is going on with this, would you please. charlie mckenna my chief counsel came back to me a day or two later and said i spoke with tbil baronee, the port authority, they said it was a traffic study in the normal course of business and that the people of new york are just
raising a big stink over it but don't worry about it. >> rose: so you said, you realized this was abnormal and you wanted to know why. >> i didn't realize it was abnormal, charlie. what i realized was that it was in the newspaper. remember, this context too, i am in the middle of a re-election campaign. now when i first find out about this i'm 30 days away from election day in a re-election campaign. so your sense advertised to everything. >> rose: you want a strong election because are you thinking about running for president two years in. >> first off i want to be elected dee re-elected as governor. >> rose: but if you have a big margin it makes the opportunity to run for president bet wednesday if i have a big margin it it will make me a more important voice in national politics absolutely and a more important voice in my state as well wz. >> rose: it is not the unreasonable that you want the endorsement of the mayor of frlt lee. >> we have 556 mayors in new jersey. >> rose: you wanted every one of them to en-- endorse you. >> and i know every one is not
going to but if you had come to me on october 1s, 2013, and asked me who the mayor of fort lee was, i wouldn't be able to tell you. >> rose: when did you learn ow a culture exists based on evidence and the jury's conclusion, that these toorks talking about bridget kelly and david were not scapegoats, they were participates in a culture that not only encouraged this type of retribution, they bread t they rewarded it, they can call themselves scapegoats, call it justice it. so he is saying there was a climate. there he, the mayor, and he couldn't get his calls returned. he couldn't reach out when this was happening. and he said look, they were trying to punish me. >> well, that's not what he said in the beginning, by the way, but put that aside. for four years he did get his phone called returned. and in fact, one of my political operatives-- . >> rose: before he refused to endorse you. >> no, no, after yard-- afterwards too, charlie. the fact is that one of our political operatives who testified at trial said that in march of 2013 that the mayor had told him i can't endorse the governor, even though i'm going to vote for him and i like him. but i can't do it because i have
business problems. i'm a lawyer who does business with democrats and i don't want to put myself in a bad spot. >> rose: he was a real estate lawyer. >> right. who does things for the democratic counsel. >> rose: right. >> and planning board. charlie s that the guy of kind you are looking to pirn. a democratic mayor in a democratic town who says to the republican administration, i u but i just can't endorse your publicly. it's ridiculous. it's ridiculous, and our entire operation from when i became governor has been about reaching out to every constituency and making sure that they get served. and served well. and we got all the endormtsds we got because we served those people extraordinarily well. not because there was a culture of intimidation. >> rose: someone said that what they see in this trial is criminalization of the way politics is played in new jersey. >> if the way politics is played everywhere in terms of serving all constituencies. then if they are happy with you, you ask them to vote for you. >> rose: i think they were referring to punishing people
without don't support you. >> where is the evidence of that, charlie. where is the evidence of that, that there was a culture of that. people take one senior staffer and one incidence and they try to make it out to be a culture. you know why? because they couldn't prove that i had anything to do with it. so the fallback position is-- wait a second. the fallback position is if you can't prove somebody did it, then you say they created a culture. >> rose: that is not what they are arguing. the argument is not that you had nothing to do with it they are not saying that you conceived it. they are saying that they told you, and you didn't do anything about it. >> take their testimony at face value. if you listen what they said, they said they told me there was a traffic study. being done. all three of them. now charlie, why would i think there was anything wrong with that? that a traffic study was being done. >> rose: because you know that closing these lane was create real problems. people's lives. >> first off, they didn't tell me they were closing plains, they said a traffic study. look at the testimony.
>> rose: my question is if they said that, would you have remembered it. >> no, a tremendous amount of traffic in fort lee? there say tremendous amount of-- . >> rose: and laughed about t they were brag being t that is what they said. >> well, but-- . >> rose: that they bagging about it. >> that is his characterization of it the characterization of an admitted liar and felon. and by the way, that i laughed about it, laughed about what? why saying there is a tremendous amount of traffic in fort lee-- . >> rose: suggesting you laughed about it because a guy who refused to endorse you was having problems for his constituency. >> what i will tell su one that is ridiculous on the face because it is not the words they used. but secondly, i'm telling you, i could have cared less whether the mayor of fort lee endorsed me because i didn't even know who he was. i didn't even know-- . >> rose: and are you saying you didn't need his endorsement anyway. >> i got 61% of the vote, i was up by 25 points. and by the way, if this was all so horrible, you know what happened on election day, in a democratic town, i won fort lee. i won fort lee handily, a
democratic town that had had this traffic problem two months earlier. i won fort lee. without the mayor's endorsement. so come on, charlie. this is a part of the hysteria that has been put around this that the facts, even the facts that you just read out don't wear out. don't back up. and so for me, what i say is, i understand the his 2e6r-- hysteria and interest of the media, especially media in this area to make a big deal over this. but the bottomline is. this st in january of 2014, i helped three people-- held three people responsible for this fiasco. >> rose: when you fired them, what did you say. >> i disn fire them personally. >> rose: why not. >> because they all at that point have lawyers. >> rose: you should have been so angry about those people. >> i was. >> rose: at that time that you should have said to them, look, look me in the eye and tell me why you did this, because you have damaged me, you have damaged me. >> let's get to that then. on december 13th, of 2013, i called my entire senior staff
together. and i said to them, with bridget kelly in the room as a member of the senior staff, i said if anyone knows anything more about this traffic situation, you need to tell me now. right now. cuz i'm going out to do a press conference in an hour, i will get asked about this. i don't want to say anything untrue or incomplete. so tell me. they all sat silently around the table. then i sent my chief of staff and chief counsel to interview each one of them in the next hour. bridget kelly said nothing to me in that room and she said to my chief of staff kev eno dowd that she knew nothing about, this soon thereafter charl yea, she began deleting emails. >> rose: when was this press conference. >> december 13th. >> rose: you know people were texting each other saying he's lying. >> well, and she since correct whadz she said. she didn't mean i was lying because she disn know what i knew. she said that what i was saying about a member of the senior staff, no one on the senior staff know being political retribution was wrong because she believes bridget kelly knew.
and she testified against bridget kelly. and let's remember what i was asked on december 139, charlie. i was asked in that press conference can you assure us that no member of your senior staff was involved in an ak of political retribution. and i said absolutely. i have asked each and every one and each and every one of them told me they were not. bridget kelly continued to say she was not right up and through the time she was convicted by a jury on friday. >> rose: and who's come forward in that meeting to tell exactly what happened in that meaning. >> deborah-- testified at the trial. she was my policy chief at the time. member of the senior staff and she testified in the trial vividly about that et mooing. said it bas the most angry she had ever seen me. and she had worked for me going back to the u.s. attorney's office in 2007. >> rose: did you understand what this could do to you in terms of your own ambition? >> no, no. >> rose: because of the testimony. >> well, i didn't know what the testimony was going to be, charlie. and the u.s. attorney himself has said that the testimony was
a fab ri kaition. >> rose: he has said that they. >> they lied on the stand, that is what he said. >> rose: that's one of the reasons. u.s. pros cuter said he is seeking a stronger penalty for those two rather than david wildstein who came forward. >> correct. >> rose: admitted his guilt, admitted his guilt. >> correct. >> rose: knowing he would probably go to prison. >> correct, people do that all did that job for seven years, rose: so they get a deal, then they risk-- risk being perjured they risk being indicted for pernlgry as well. >> it happens every day, unfortunately. but here's the thing. the judge will make that evaluation of mr. wildstein when it is time for his sentencing as well. >> rose: why do you think fishman did not seek an indictment against you? the easy answer is he didn't see any evidence. but in your judgement. >> i didn't do anything wrong. and i believe in the justice system. >> rose: but he didn't say that. you know what he said, he didn't say i don't think the governor did anything wrong. what he said, in fact was, i
didn't indict because i only indicted people in who i believe the jury would convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. if i didn't think i could convict, i don't bring indictments against people. >> that is what u.s. attorneys are supposed to say. >> rose: it wasn't i think he's innocent. >> u.s. attorneys are not allowed to give opinions in that way. you don't say i think someone is innocent or i think someone is guilty. the fact is, it was a 15 month investigation. and believe me f there was any evidence, and in this trial, by the way, charlie, there was not one person who came forward and testified that i had any involvement with political retribution regarding this incident. not one. >> rose: is it simply because this happened in your office that you believe people look at this trial and say it is bad for chris christie. >> well, it's bad-- . >> rose: what happened in this trial is bad because people that had worked with him in one way or the other were engaged in something that put people's lives at risk, some say.
>> well, i think, listen, at the ends, of course. and that's why on january 9th, 2014, apologized for having trusted people who were undeserving of my truth. -- trust. and i fired them. and that is all i could do, charlie. i wasn't a prosecutor any more. and then we completely cooperated with every investigation, turned over every document, gave over my personal telephone. and testified under oath that the u.s. attorney's office for hours. i didn't hide a thing. and you know why? cuz i have nothing to hide. and those who have a partisan agenda will continue to a took me. the reason i'm happy to be sitting here with you today is because i have known for three years i did absolutely nothing wrong. now this trial has happened. and the people who i held responsible, three years ago, have now been held responsible by the united states attorney and a federal jury. it is over now. >> rose: if they would have lied to you about this, your
characterization, or not tell you, is it possible they did other things that we don't know about? >> having been a u.s. attorney and the power of federal grand jury spp authority f there was anything else we could charge grij ed kelly or bill baronee or david wildstein with, they would have. >> rose: do you think it will be reversed on appeal because of this question about intent, political retribution intent? >> i don't know t is a question, it is an issue. there is no doubt, the issue was vigorously argued by both sides so we'll see what the third circuit does, i really don't know. >> rose: do you think they did it for political retribution. >> i don't know y charlie. they never told me. and by the way, they sat on the witness stand and said that that wasn't the reason. so i don't know. >> rose: this is from jeff goldberg who doesn't work for "the new york times." he works for the atlantic. he has just become the editor of the atlantic. he said quote one of my favorite politicians, meaning you, morbidly needy. his neediness made him greatly entertaining but also caused him to betray his own principles.
>> well, jz jeff goldberg. >> jeff and i are friends, fellow springsteen fans. >> rose: yes. >> and he said that is snot about bridgegate, that is about me endorsing donald trump who jeff is genetically opposed to. so good friends, as you know, and i'm sure you have gone through this in your life, can have polit kalg arguments. and those plitd kal arguments don't extended to the character of the people. and i don't think jeff's character is plaw flawed because is he for hillary clinton. and i think once he calms down he won't think my character is flawed for being with doned a trump. >> rose: is one of the reasons you want to set the record straight, because of this fact. people look at this trial and they view it even though were you not on trial. >> you would think i was though, wouldn't you. >> rose: indeed, indeed, both in terms of the defense and the prosecution, would you have thought were you on trial. >> horribly unfair. imagine what this did to my family, charlie. >> rose: what did it do to your family. >> awful, my wife and my children, having to read this stuff every day, which they know
is untrue. liars sitting on the witness stand, three of them, lying about their husband and their father. it's been awful time for us. awful. because they would say defend yourself. i would say listen, you can't interfere with a trial. i wasn't called as a witness. i had no ability to be able to defend myself. and that's why i'm here with you. because i'm not going to stay silent any longer. >> rose: this is the "washington post," not "the new york times," on november 5th, yesterday, as we tape. new york governor chris yisie lit kal career suffered a serious blow. the case presentedded a stream of allegations against the governor that will haunt him. is he stained by scandal which slowed a darker side to his tough guy image. had taints his legacy, his job approval is at 21%. 52% of the people said they think he knew. even donald trump suggested that during the campaign. but that's what you are suffering from, that is what the oppression is. >> well, sure. >> rose: and you acknowledge that. >> of course.
but charlie, if you sit there and are you being punched every day, and you can't punch back, why would you be surprised that bruises get raised. you can't punchback. >> rose: if you could have punched back they would not be saying these things. but do you believe that bridgegate has damaged your political career. >> of course. >> rose: in what way? >> the way you just talked about. the fact is, that if people, if the media and others attack you relentilessly for three years, and you cannot defend yourself, because are you in the middle of cooperating in the judicial process, and cannot stain that process, then in there is only one line of information, then people will believe the line of information they're being given. but you know, anything like that from the "washington post" or anybody else, that is a snap shot in time, charlie. >> rose: right. >> i can't tell you how many times i have been told my political career was over.
here i am. and i will tell you this, what matters to me most is my reputation. and that's what i am fighting for. and that's why i'm here telling you the truth of not only what i know but the truth of what happened in the trial because if you read the reports of the trial, you wouldn't even know what happened there. >> rose: there is also an understanding by some or belief by some that without bridgegate would you have been the nominee for vice president, selectedded by donald trump. and in fact, he told you, you can clear thup, he told you that you were his guy. >> no. >> rose: he never said that. >> no. >> rose: he never said to you i want to you run with pea. >> no, never did. >> rose: do you believe you didn't get the nomination because of bridgegate. >> no. >> rose: you don't? >> no. >> rose: you d't think it had any impact. >> i didn't say that. >> rose: what impact did it have. >> i can't measure it. would you have to ask donald trump. but donald trump didn't call me and say you're not going to be vice president because of bridgegate. >> rose: did he suggest to you
you might be vice president. >> i was certainly being considered. >> rose: the last two. >> yeah. >> rose: why do you think he chose pence rather than you. >> i think he thought mike was the better choice. >> rose: i'm repeating myself. but according to what they said about the 9/11 meeting at the 9/11 memorial meeting when they said you laughed,. >> charlie,. >> rose: they say they were brag being it. >> listen the words they said. even if you take david wildstein who is an admitted liar and an admitted felon, even if you-- so all of a sudden now we have three people, who are liars and felons who all of a sudden we want to give gospel truth to their words. no not to the seven people without came into the court room without any criminal background, without any problem who directly contradicted these people. i mean if you want to make the story, make the story. don't let the facts get in the way. but the facts are that not even the people convictedded of these crimes has ever said in any form
that they told me that this was some ak of political retribution, let's get that straight. >> rose: you said that in your statement too. >> and by the way, charlie, scour the transkript. it was never saidz. you know why it it was never said, because even those people kontd bring nem selves to say it, because they know it's not true. and you know, the fact is, that when you're governor of new jersey or governor of any big state, the idea that anybody is going to bring to you a traffic study for your approval, is on sured. it's rid rick lus. and add to it it, bridget kelly without claims now to have been scared of me, yet she worked for me for four years, and accepted a promotion from someone she was supposedly scared of and was afraid to talk to, yet by the same token, she says she scash allly walked into my office without an appointment, without a peeses of paper and without a briefing and asked me to approve
something. anyone who has worked for me will tell you, you don't come into my office without an appointment, without a piece of paper and sct governor to approve something. that's not the way it works. that is a maid up story, and don't take my word for t the u.s. attorney himself has said that they lied on the witness stand. >> now i assume this is because he was a defense attorney for bridget kelly, you know what he said, in his sum are at the end, you know, he said this is was the mother of four children, and she was thrown under the bus. >> i feel awfully for the children. >> i took bridget kelly and her children to hockey games. i know her kids very well. and it is the saddest part of the story. >> the children are now going to have to go without thrair mother for a period of time. terrible thing and i feel awfully about it. but let's be clear, whatever was said in the closing argument, i would have been happy to appear at trial. it is an invitation only partied, charlie. and there were only three
people, who invited me, the government e mr. baronee or miss kelly. >> rose: none called you as a witness. >> no, and if they had i would have come. >> rose: you would have relished. >> i don't know if i would have relished. >> rose: you sate there and said you have been waiting for three years to make your case and this would have been in fronted everybody, under oath to make your case. >> have i already made my case under oatd privately. >> rose: what does that mean. >> well, the u.s. attorney office under oatd for hours. and i would have been happy to go into courted and testify. and then there wouldn't have been seven people who said that she was lying there would have been eight. so. >> rose: so what impact on your life and career, back to that question, do you intend to run for elected office again? >> we'll see. right now i don't. but you never say never in this life, charlie. i'm a young man, i'm 54 years old. but i'm term limited as governor of new jerszee. my term here will end on january
18th, 2018. will i ever run for anything again, is a decision i will make in the future. i certainly wouldn't preclude it. >> rose: there are those who now argue that chris christie like bill bradley, another new injuriesian did not run when they should have, and therefore lost the clans to be president because of what has happened since then. >> i love the armchair quarterbacks who have never been in the arena and decide when others should run for the most important job in the world. >> rose: you never had that thought after all that happened this year, donald trump won the nomination and you didn't, and then bridgegate, maybe i should have gone in 2012. >> never. >> rose: not once. >> not once. you know why, i wasn't ready to be president in 2011. i wasn't ready. and charlie, the only thing worse than not being president for me, would be being president when i wasn't ready. you becha. you don't want to be the dog who catches the garbage truck and figure out what to do once you get there. in 2016 i was ready to be
president and i wanted to be president. but so did 16 other people. in my party. and it came down to one person who now has the chance to be elected on tuesday. >> rose: and do you want to be attorney general? >> i don't necessarily-- . >> rose: i don't necessarily want to be anything except helpful to him. >> rose: do you think comey should have come forward. >> i know jim comey. he was my colleague when he was u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. he was my boss as deputy attorney general and i was u.s. attorney. there is no one in public life who has more integrity than i have met that jim kemy. i believe what jim thought, collateralie, i don't know because i haven't folk into jim, but i thought if people knew that they these additional emails 11 days-- . >> rose: even though he did not know what was in them. >> sure, that if people knew they would have accused him of covering it up. he would have been accused of covering it up, especially given his earlier decision not to recommend prosecution of
mrs. clinton. and i think that for the integrities of jim comey and the integrity of the fbi he needed to let the congress know, very much because of the cat moss fear are you talking about. we live in an adversarial atmosphere in american politics, unfortunately. my case with bridgegate is a perfect example. before anyone knew whether i did anything wrong, i was guilty. and mrs. clinton is a victim of the 15eu78 culture, and mr. trump has been a victim of the same culture, of certain instances that people talk about with him. this is a bad bad thing for our country. and i think jim comey reacted to that same atmosphere, and said i don't want to be a us cooed of covering something up, so i will let it out. >> rose: these lies you characterize were put forward of people associatedded with you. that is why this is so damning of the culture. >> well, not of the culture, charlie. rked for me, who were whocting incredibly good people. >> rose: this was just the bads apples that happen in a
collection of people. >> of course. >> rose: they were bad when you hired them. >> i can't imagine that in your career that you haven't hired someone who in retrospect you looked back and said-- the stakes are different when i hire someone than when you do. but every one of us has made mistakes. here is my mistake. my mistake was i trusted people without were unworthy of my trust. and when a governor trusts someone, it it has a much broader impact. and i will always regret that. i will always regret that. and . >> rose: do you understand how did you it and why? >> i think it it is just, you know, you make a lot of hires. and all of a sudden, you know, you don't get to know people as well as you might want to. that is part of the job too. you can't possibly get to know everyone that well. but in the end, these two people that i hire, let me down. they let the people of new jersey down. but here is what didn't happen. the governor of new jersey, the guy you are looking at, has lied
to the people of this state. the governor of new jersey knew nothing about this. i have said the same thing to the beginning to the end. >> rose: you ran that in the d bridget kelly sat in thatt room and said nothing. and then lied to my chief of staff, and then went back to her office and started deleting emails. that the conduct of someone who is eling it the truth. let me tell you, with me, charlie, i turned over my phone, my email account, both business and personal. i sat for hours and do you think for a minute if there was anything evidence that i had engaged in any type of wrongful en clarged?t i wouldn't have of course i would have been. and i wasn't because i did nothing wrong. and it is maddening to sit here as a good person, who has tried very hard, tried their very best, not been perfect but tried their best to be subjected to that. and i am no longer going to be a punching back on this one, charlie. >> rose: you are fighting back
beginning here. >> correct, sir. >> rose: what do you think fishman believes about you in terms of bridgegate. >> have i no way of knowing. paul and i are not friends. and that's not to be a negative. we just never-- . >> rose: you have no way of knowing. >> we never traveled in the same circles. >> rose: is it possible he thinks show some of the things said about you are true but he doesn't have the evidence to prove it? >> i can't imagine that he did, because they're not. and paul is a fair and reasonable man. who i think you know, makes a judgement that he can make based on the information that he has. but i have absolutely no idea what he thinks and i would never put words in his mouth. i used to hate when politicians put words in my mouth when i was u.s. attorney, i will not do the same thing that i got angry about when i was attorney to the guy who has my job now. i love that office, i love what they do, i loved that job and i have great respect for it it. >> rose: do you think are you so damaged by all the talk about this that it will impede your chances of having a job in washington if donald trump is
elected? >> no. i don't. >> rose: you don't think you have suffered that kind of. >> no, because i think the truth matters. i think the truth matters. we talked about the truth today. i haven't put it into inn my words. but have i quoted the u.s. attorney. and have i quoted what has gone on, what went on in the trial. what actually happened in that court room. not what was reported in the newspapers. but what actually happened. what was actually said. and i'm proud that seven people went in there and contradicted bridget kelly and told the truth about what it was like to work for me. i'm proud of the fact that i have people who have worked for me now, some of them for 14 areas, charlie, if this was some type of atmosphere of fear an intimidation, people don't stay with you for that long. >> rose: but if david wildstein or bridget kelly would walk in today, and see you, what would you say to them? >> why? >> that's all, why. >> rose: why did you do it? >> yes, why did you do it. cuz
i don't think i know. why they did it. >> rose: do you think they know? >> they should, they did it i didn't. >> and you believe he was the conceiver of the whole thing. >> i think he said he was. >> rose: punished the mayor of fort lee. >> because he didn't endorse him. >> i guess. i don't even know if i believe that. that's why i would asked why. i'm not even sure i believe that. it makes no sense, charlie. it makes no sense. 566 mayers in new jersey, fort lee with all due respect to fort lee, it's not newark, it's not trendton, it's not camden, it's not paterson. it's a small democrat town in the most pop lus county. who in their right mind would think that causing traffic in the most pop louse quowntee in the state, 60 days before an election would be something that a guy on the ballot would want to have done for them.
it's ridiculous. >> rose: you are a political operative. >> no. >> rose: but he said-- going back to, this but he said to you, he said to bar barony, we have a constituency of one wovment do you think the one was. >> that is what he said. >> rose: you, you were the one guy they wanted to please. they had one constituent. >> let's say two things, one, they failed. if that is what this intended to do they failed misserly, but secondly, remember what deborah said when sh was under oath in the courted room. she said the constituency of one theory, and this was david wildstein's boss in the governor's office. she said the constituency of one was a fiction. she called it a wild steen special. a fiction. and it was a fiction. it was a fiction in david's mind. and i don't know what motivated david or not. i don't know david. i don't know him, hardly at all and the fact that you know, he said he had a con stitd wednesdayee of one, let's say thrk charlie, even the government, in the trial
admitted that david wildstein is a serial liar. their own witness. they criticized baronee in cross examination. they said how could you possibly believe david wild steen. this is the government about their own witness. so i don't know if i sat across from david wild steen, quite frankly, charmie, because i done know if he is capable of telling the truth. >> rose: when i walk into this house you said to me, i have been waiting three years to do this. >> yes. >> rose: i have a chance to tell my story. i couldn't do it it because of the trial. i assume that was. >> yes, sir how else are you going to take this crusade to make sure this need that you feel to clear your name, you do feel that. >> i have done t i am with charlie rose. everyone will watch this. and have i done it i'm not going make this my life's cause, charlie. this is not important enough to be my life's cause. >> rose: this is one time that
you view, you have had to set the record straight. >> yes, sir, and that is why i came to you. and the fact is that now i'm going to go back to my job. i get to be governor of the state where i was born and raised for another 13 months. i have lots of work to do i have done lots. have i lots more to do i will go in, i will go out the same way i came in, loud. loud and tough and making changes. >> rose: this thing really damaged you. >> of course it did. because you get pounded for three years. but you flow what, i have also been at 75 fers job approval in this state, as a rep so i have been wildly popular in this state and wildly unpopular. you know what that is about? that is about-- . >> rose: governing. >> consequence, absolutely, and secondly it is about the relentless pounding that i have
taken and not been able to answer back. >> rose: and the irony of this is caused by people without worked for you. >> yes, stinks. stinks, charlie. believe me, i'm not happy about this. and that is why i fired them. >> rose: are you sadz for bill, are you sadz for bridget? >> sure, i don't want to see anybody go to jail. i don't want to see anybody go to jail. but you know what, you have to be held responsible for what you do. >> rose: i assume you mean that about hillary clinton too. >> charlie, i don't want to see anybody go to jail. >> rose: you were a prosecutor, that is what you did, you put people in jail. >> who deserved it it. but i never reveled in it i never relished it it. you know what, charlie, when i hired a new assistant u.s. attorney when i was u.s. attorney, before i swor them in, i asked them to do one thing for me. i had the seal of the department of justice up on my wall. i said read that seal for me. sir? i said just read it outloud what does it they say, department of justice it doesn't say department of prosecution, douse 2? it says department of justice.
our job is not to prosecute. our job is to make sure justice happen z you believe in bridgegate justice was done. >> i believe in the jury system, charlie. and if a jury-- . >> rose: why can't you say you believe justice was done. >> because i think it's even more important answer that than that. if is not just justice, let's talk specifically about what happened. 12 regular citizens from all walks of life got in a box and ery day, listening totheir life, evidences. and then they voted unanimously for guilt for these two people. i believe in that system. i believe in it. it is not flawless. but i believe in it. >> rose: thank you for the time, governor. >> thank you for the time, charlie. i appreciate it. >> rose: governor chris christie, in new jersey. thank you for joining us. sphor nor about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com.
♪ervices world wide. this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. global rally. a letter from the fbi prompts stocks to rally worldwide, as investors pour money into equities the day before election day. action plan. what investors should ponder and overlook as americans head to polls. it's the economy. from arizona to florida to north carolina. the issues are different but the stakes are high for investors across the country. those stories and more tonight on "nightly business report," for monday, november 7th. good evening, everyone and welcome. now we have heard everything. stocks rose today, because of the fbi. yes, the fbi. its director, james comey, er