The Time Christie and His Staff Freaked Out Over ‘Christie Creme’ Donuts
Months before thousands of commuters and local leaders were freaking out over the epic traffic jams in Fort Lee, Gov. Chris Christie and his inner circle were pulling their hair out over a box of donuts.
That's what a former Christie staffer testified Friday in the federal criminal trial of former Intergovernmental Affairs head Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni, who have been accused of plotting the September 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures as political revenge.
Kelly subordinante Christina Renna testified that Christie, Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd and Chief Counsel Charlie McKenna "freaked out" over a box of donuts that an office intern had branded "Christie Creme" and "Expanding Nationwide in 2016!!!" The gag was part of an office baking contest.
A photo of the box was leaked to the press and fueled speculation that Christie was planning a presidential run.
Renna's testimony came out Friday during cross-examination. Kelly's attorney is making the case that his client was scapegoated and thrown under the bus.
Kelly and Baroni are accused of helping to plot the days-long shutdown of traffic lanes at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. The debilitating gridlock was supposed to be political retribution against the city's Democratic mayor, who had declined to endorse the Republican governor's re-election bid.
While Christie was never charged with any crime, both the prosecution and defense agree that Christie knew about the lane closures as they happened, even though he has maintained he had no knowledge of the plot. David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to the plot and testified for the prosecution, said Christie laughed about the closures after he told Christie about them during the 9/11 anniversary ceremony in Lower Manhattan.
Renna also testified that she approved of a plan to convince other staffers in the Intergovernmental Affairs department to turn their backs on Kelly because she was upset Kelly had been considering someone else to be her second-in-command.
The reaction to the "Christie Creme" donuts is the latest example from the trial of Christie reportedly losing his cool over a food or fat-related dig.
Earlier in the week, another former Christie staffer, Christopher Stark, testified that Christie went on a profanity-filled tirade against Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley, who had privately called Christie a "fat f***" in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
According to Stark, Christie told Curley: "Who the f*** do you think you are calling me a fat f***? ... I will f***ing destroy you!"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.