chris christie*(Via NBC News) – Saying that he is “embarrassed and humiliated” by the behavior of his staff, Chris Christie apologized Thursday for the bridge lane-closure scandal that has swamped his administration and jeopardized his possible 2016 presidential campaign.

“I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team,” he said in his first public comments about the emerging political crisis involving an aide’s effort to exact political revenge against a Democratic mayor.

That aide, deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, has been dismissed effective immediately, Christie said.

“I terminated her employment because she lied to me,” he said.

The New Jersey governor added that he has directed another Christie confidant involved in the fracas, Bill Stepien, to withdraw his consultancy for the Republican Governors Association and his bid for state party chairman.

The tough-talking Christie stated bluntly that he takes responsibility for the incident despite being “blindsided” by the news.

“Ultimately, I am responsible for what happens under my watch, the good and the bad,” he said.

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