Gov. Chris Christie was with the official who arranged the closure of local lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 11, 2013 -- the third day of the closures, and well after they had triggered outrage from local officials beset by heavy traffic. Also present with Mr. Christie that day were Bill Baroni, the authority's deputy executive director, who was helping Mr. Wildstein manage the fallout from the closures among local officials, subpoenaed documents show. Also there was David Samson, the Port Authority chairman and close Christie ally, who has said he didn't learn of the lane closures and traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., until an email from a New York port official ordered the lane closures reversed.
At his lengthy press conference last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told reporters and the public that he barely knows David Wildstein. It was, of course, Wildstein, one of the governor's top aides at the Port Authority before his resignation, who ordered engineers to secretly create a traffic crisis in Fort Lee last September, and Christie took a "David who?" attitude in response to questions.
"I have had no contact with David Wildstein in a long time, a long time," the governor said. He added, "I did not interact with David.... I don't even remember in the last four years even having a meeting in my office with David Wildstein."
And what about their days together in high school? "After that time, I completed lost touch with David," Christie said. "We didn't travel in the same circles in high school. You know, I was the class president and athlete. I don't know what David was doing during that period of time."
So, despite the evidence that Wildstein served as the governor's "eyes and ears" at the Port Authority, and despite the fact that Wildstein coordinated his political efforts with the governor's deputy chief of staff, Christie hardly seems to know who Wildstein is and hasn't had any contact with him "in a long time."
Which makes it all the more interesting that Christie and Wildstein were photographed together last September -- during the deliberate traffic crisis Wildstein created in Fort Lee.
The Wall Street Journal, which has a nice photo of Christie and Wildstein together on the third day of the Fort Lee fiasco, reports today:
We don't know, of course, what the men discussed. Christie and Wildstein were together during the Fort Lee disaster that Wildstein caused, but we simply have no idea whether Wildstein told the governor what was unfolding in Fort Lee at the time.
But there's obviously no denying the fact that the two clearly had some interaction during the incident, which raises at least some doubts about the governor's comments last week.
UPDATE: Related video:
Jan. 15, 201417:51