Gov. Chris Christie is seen with David Wildstein, in red tie, on Sept. 11, 2013, before a ceremony on the 12th anniversary of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks in Manhattan, in a photo obtained by The Wall Street Journal. Sept. 11 was the third day of the lane closures in Fort Lee, N.J.
In his news conference last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he had not seen aide David Wildstein (implicated in the GWB bridge-closing scandal) for “a long time.”
Well, it seems this was not true.
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.
It isn’t known what, if anything, Mr. Christie discussed with David Wildstein that day, when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official was among the delegation of Mr. Christie’s representatives who welcomed him to the site of the World Trade Center for the commemoration of the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks there.
Christie spokesman Colin Reed said, “Of course, Governor Christie attended the September 11th ceremony as he has done every year since he took office. He had numerous interactions with public officials that morning, including representatives of the Port Authority. They were all there for one reason - to pay tribute to the heroes of 9/11.”
Mr. Wildstein did not respond to a request for comment.
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. Messrs. Samson and Baroni didn’t respond to requests for comment.