July 03, 2017 11:01 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is under fire after pictures emerged of him and his family sunbathing on a beach that he had closed to the public due to a state government shutdown.

Christie, his wife, Mary Pat, and their son Andrew were photographed by NJ.com relaxing at Island Beach State Park on Sunday afternoon.

Later that day, Christie held a news conference in Trenton, where he was asked whether he had gotten any sun that day.

“I didn’t,” he said, according to The Star-Ledger. “I didn’t get any sun today.”

But after photos of the family’s beach outing surfaced online, the governor’s spokesman, Brian Murray, told The Star-Ledger: “Yes, the governor was on the beach briefly today talking to his wife and family before heading into the office. He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on.”

Christie shut down the New Jersey government early Saturday after he and Democratic assembly speaker Vincent Prieto failed to agree on a new budget before the July 1 deadline.

On Saturday, Christie defended his family’s use of the state-owned beach house at Island Beach State Park by saying: “That’s the way it goes. Run for governor, and you can have the residence.”

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Christie, who said he had previously announced his vacation plans, also sarcastically referred to the beach photos as a “great bit of journalism.”

“They actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with, his wife and children and their friends,” Christie said in an interview with the New York Fox TV station. “I am sure they will get a Pulitzer for this one.”

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The governor was widely ridiculed on Twitter for the incident, which some are now calling “Beachgate.”

On Monday, Christie tweeted out another response, posting a photo of the Jersey shore with the caption: “Another beautiful day at the Jersey shore. Our beaches are open & full of people. Come & see for yourself! And you can hit the boardwalk!”



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