New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) denied Thursday that he had any kind of close relationship with one of his former appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey connected to the bridge scandal.
He was responding to news reports on the scandal that noted Christie and David Wildstein, who appeared in documents obtained by TPM corresponding with Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly about closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge, attended high school together.
“It is true that I met David in 1977 in high school,” Christie said in a press conference. “He’s a year older than me. David and I were not friends in high school, not even acquaintances in high school.”
Christie said he wanted to clear the matter up because he felt some stories implied “a closeness between me and David that doesn’t exist.” The governor also said Wildstein came to the Port Authority through another former appointee connected to the scandal, Bill Baroni, and he merely gave his permission for the hire.
“How do I feel about David now?” Christie said. “Listen, what I read yesterday makes me angry. That’s the one bit of anger I felt. That language and that callous indifference in those emails from David yesterday, are just over the top and outrageous and should never ever have been written or uttered by somebody with a position of responsibility like that.”
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.