New Jersey Gov. Christie Christie has responded to accusations that he was aware of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, a brewing scandal that Christie has denied any knowledge of.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that a letter from former Port Authority official David Wildstein's attorney identified the decision to close the bridge's lanes as "the Christie administration's order." Following a modest original response, the governor's office has reportedly taken an aggressive stance against both Wildstein and the New York Times.
In an email acquired by Politico, Christie's administration asserts that "David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein." The email, titled "Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell," denies any involvement in the lane closings:
As he has said repeatedly, Governor Christie had no involvement, knowledge or understanding of the real motives behind David Wildstein’s scheme to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge. … The Governor first learned lanes at the George Washington Bridge were even closed from press accounts after the fact. Even then he was under the belief it was a traffic study. He first learned David Wildstein and Bridget Kelly closed lanes for political purposes when it was reported on January 8th
The letter also criticizes Wildstein's judgement and character:
In David Wildstein’s past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as ‘tumultuous’ and someone who ‘made moves that were not productive...David Wildstein has been publicly asking for immunity since the beginning, been held in contempt by the New Jersey legislature for refusing to testify, failed to provide this so-called ‘evidence’ when he was first subpoenaed by the NJ Legislature and is looking for the Port Authority to pay his legal bills.
In addition, it takes shots at the Times for alleged "sloppy reporting":
A media firestorm was set off by sloppy reporting from the New York Times and their suggestion that there was actually ‘evidence’ when it was a letter alleging that ‘evidence exists.
As Politico notes, the Times' initial story said Wildstein alleged "he had the evidence to prove it." Subsequent versions adhered to his attorney's stance that "evidence exists." The Times issued a statement last night explaining that "[they] regularly update web stories for clarity as [they] did in this case," adding that they "do not note changes unless it involves an error."
Let the mud-slinging commence.