Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during an education summit, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in Londonderry, N.H. 
Photo by Jim Cole/AP

Christie picks the wrong day to complain about ‘lawlessness’

Updated
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) still hopes to get his struggling presidential campaign back on track, and he’s even come up with a new pitch he seems excited about: the scandal-plagued governor wants to blame President Obama for street crimes.
 
“Whether it is New York, Chicago or San Francisco, it is happening everywhere,” Christie said on MSNBC yesterday. “The president has encouraged this lawlessness.”
 
As the GOP candidate sees it, White House executive orders are illegal (they’re not), and because criminals are so attuned to current events, they see the president’s lax attitudes on enforcing laws (which doesn’t exist) and decide to break laws themselves.
 
The Rachel Maddow Show, 9/8/15, 9:10 PM ET

Christie bridge scandal investigation ripples lead to airline resignations

Rachel Maddow explains how the resignation of the United Airlines CEO and two other senior officials is connected to Chris Christie’s George Washington Bridge scandal and the investigation into a special flight route nicknamed “the chairman’s flight”…
It’s hard to imagine anyone taking such nonsense seriously, but just as importantly, Christie has atrocious timing. While the Republican governor complains about “lawlessness,” one of his aides has already pleaded guilty to a charge in Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal, and two more of his top staffers are facing multiple criminal charges. By late yesterday, it seems a fourth member of Christie’s team may soon join the indictment club.
The chairman and CEO of United Airlines is stepping down in connection with an investigation into the airline’s dealings with the agency that operates New York airports.
 
United Continental Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that Jeff Smisek and its executive vice president of communications and government affairs and its senior vice president of corporate and government affairs had resigned.
According to United, the departures “are in connection with the company’s previously disclosed internal investigation related to the federal investigation associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.”
 
What does this have to do with Team Christie? Everything.
 
As Rachel explained on the show last night, after Christie became governor, he was in a position to reward his allies with powerful jobs, and he rewarded former state attorney general David Samson, a Christie friend and mentor, with control over the Port Authority.
“The Port Authority is enormous. And one of the things it’s in charge of is running the George Washington Bridge. When the bridge scandal broke open, when it became clear that bridge really purposefully had been shut down as part of some Christie administration political vendetta, one of the heads that had to roll was David Samson, who was the head of the Port Authority.
 
“Unlike his other staffers and allies who got in trouble in connection with the bridge scandal who Chris Christie was happy to blame and deride and distance himself from in public, it was interesting when David Samson resigned, he had nothing but words of praise and support for his mentor and his close friend.
 
“But now tonight, another shoe has dropped in this story. Because the Port Authority doesn’t just run the George Washington Bridge, they run all sorts of major infrastructure in New York and New Jersey. And that includes this little confection which is called Newark Airport in Newark, New Jersey, and tonight it was front page news – not just in the business press but all over the press when there was this sudden announcement that the head of United Airlines had been ousted.”
Anytime one of the largest airlines in the world loses suddenly its CEO, it’s a fairly big deal, but in this case, United’s shake-up is tied to the investigation into Christie’s pal David Samson. From Rachel’s report last night:
“David Samson apparently has a vacation home near Columbia, South Carolina, and one of the things unearthed is that United Airlines, allegedly, created a new route, a nonstop flight route between Newark Airport and Columbia, South Carolina, specifically at the request of David Samson, specifically to make his trips to his vacation home easier for him and his wife.
 
“The allegation is that he requested that United establish that convenient flight path for him, and in exchange, he would hook United up with some of the projects they wanted to do and some of the treatment that they wanted as an airline at Newark Airport.”
Making matters slightly worse, just a few days after Samson resigned from the Port Authority, United scrapped the nonstop flight between Newark and Columbia – a route that came to be known as the “Chairman’s Flight.”
 
This probably won’t end well, though I’ll certainly look forward to Christie blaming the entire fiasco on President Obama’s immigration policy.
 
 

Bridgegate, Chris Christie, New Jersey and Scandals

Christie picks the wrong day to complain about 'lawlessness'

Updated