[Live event concluded.]
I hope you’re sitting down, because believe it or not, another highly placed, influential Republican official has been caught with racist emails.
WASHINGTON — The deputy chief of staff to then-County Executive Scott Walker praised a racist email forwarded to her in 2010 that joked welfare recipients are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r [sic] Daddys [sic] are.”
The email tells the story of a dog owner who asks the government for canine welfare checks because the dogs match the criteria detailed above. Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s then-deputy chief of staff in 2010, wrote that the email was “hilarious” and “so true.” The email was sent to Rindfleisch from someone outside Walker’s staff.
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.
Today, Chris Christie is seeing his hopes for a presidential campaign tearing apart like frayed gauze: Chris Christie: ‘I Am Embarrassed’.
“It is heartbreaking to me that I wasn’t told the truth,” the New Jersey governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate told reporters at a 107-minute news conference in Trenton. “I’m a very loyal guy, and I expect loyalty in return, and lying to me is not an exhibition of loyalty.”
“I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team. There is no doubt in my mind that the conduct they exhibited is completely unacceptable,” he added. “It showed a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and the people that were trusted to serve.”
Christie announced he had immediately fired Bridget Kelly, a deputy chief of staff in his office who sent an email that it was “time for traffic problems in Fort Lee” at a time when Christie’s campaign was seeking an endorsement from the Democratic mayor of the city. Christie said Kelly had failed to come forward to explain earlier when he challenged his staff say if they had knowledge of the lane closures.
“She was not given the opportunity to explain why she lied,” Christie said.
Meanwhile, in testimony before the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee, close Christie ally David Wildstein repeatedly pleaded the 5th Amendment.