Chris Christie says he didn’t know his aides closed local entry lanes to the George Washington Bridge for political reasons, and he’s outraged that they did.
This is his statement, released this afternoon:
What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behaviour is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behaviour is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.
Here’s what I don’t buy. Let’s stipulate that this hare-brained scheme was hatched by Christie’s staff and appointees without his knowledge. Therefore, he didn’t know about the lane closures or their motivations before Sept. 13, when Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye (a New York appointee) started complaining about them.
There have been 117 intervening days, during which Christie accepted the resignations of two of his Port Authority appointees who are caught up in this scandal. I assume he and his top staff have had a lot of conversations during that time, trying to figure out exactly what happened in Fort Lee.
Did his people really manage to keep him in the dark for that entire time such that he’s shocked today? If so, what does that say about his skills as a personnel manager?
A Christie spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Christie thought the Fort Lee incident was a bona fide traffic study until today.
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