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Christie gubernatorial opponent: Christie 'runs a paramilitary organization'

The woman who ran against Chris Christie -- and lost by 22 points -- for governor in 2013 alleged that the New Jersey governor is ultimately behind the George Washington Bridge scandal, a charge he vehemently denied in a two-hour long press conference Thursday afternoon.

"When this first surfaced back in September, I was convinced that Christie was directing it," state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) said on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports. "You know you just get to know how he operates. He runs a paramilitary organization, very strict discipline. People don't sneeze or go to the bathroom without asking Christie’s permission to."

She charged that that people implicated in the scandal were close to Christie, some of whom were longtime Christie associates.

"All of these people orchestrated and took part in the cover-up of 'Bridgegate,' and yet, unbeknownst to the governor this was not going on, and I find that strains credulity to say the least," she said. "And these emails leave no scintilla of doubt in anyone's mind, I don’t think. ... His campaign manager for two gubernatorial campaigns was intimately involved and talked about the cover-up and retaliating."

She added, "He needs to take responsibility, he needs to answer questions under oath so that the people of New Jersey and the people of the United States of America can have a comfort level that this individual's character is not fatally flawed."

Buono's comments came immediately after Christie's press conference, none of which she said she listened to.

"I haven't heard what he said," she said. "I really didn't listen to it, and what I will tell you is that I don't see Chris Christie as a victim."