New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) now acknowledges talking with former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein at an event in September. But he doesn’t recall what they talked about.
In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Christie addressed an assertion made by Wildstein, the official who orchestrated the George Washington Bridge lane closures, that he spoke to the governor about about the traffic situation on the bridge while the closures were in effect. The revelation was included in a report released Thursday by a legal team representing Christie’s office. Christie has long maintained that he knew nothing of the plan to close the lanes, and the report found that Christie “did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement in the decision to realign the lanes.”
During the ABC News interview, anchor Diane Sawyer asked Christie if Wildstein had in fact talked to him about traffic on Sept. 11.
“I don’t have any recollection of that, Diane,” Christie said. “David was one of hundreds of people that I spoke to that day. We stood around and spoke briefly that day.”
“I don’t have any recollection of him saying anything, but I’ll tell you this, I’ll tell you what he didn’t say — he didn’t say, ‘Hey by the way, governor, I’m closing down some lanes on the George Washington Bridge to stick it to the mayor. Is that OK?'” Christie said. “That I’d remember.”
In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wildstein was part of a delegation that welcomed the Christie to the site of the the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 for a commemoration on the 12th anniversary of the attacks. The lane closures began on Sept. 9, and caused a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., which critics have said was retaliation against the town’s mayor.