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Friday, October 28, 2016

Christie Announces Port Authority Chairman’s Resignation At Combative Press Conference

Christie Announces Port Authority Chairman’s Resignation At Combative Press Conference

By Michael Phillis, The Record

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced Friday that David Samson, the chairman of the Port Authority, has tendered his resignation.

That announcement, during an hourlong news conference, comes a day after Christie’s lengthy internal investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing in the bridge scandal.

Christie answered questions for about an hour and often in a confrontational manner, with reporters asking questions about the account of his administration’s role in the bridge scandal.

Samson’s resignation is effective immediately, Christie said. What role Samson had in the lane closings is one of the major open questions in the scandal. His name appears in emails between staff that have turned up in subpoenaed documents.

Christie has been on a media blitz of late, appearing on ABC in an interview with anchor Diane Sawyer. He has also sat down with Good Morning America and Fox News. He has expressed disappointment in two former associates, Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein, saying that they lied to him and acted alone — a conclusion the internal investigation confirms.

“Anybody who works for me who believes that something like this was something that would be pleasing or acceptable to me didn’t know me in the first place,” Christie said Friday, about his firing of Kelly.

He wasn’t opposed to some changes at the Port Authority including possibly splitting the organization in two.

Two independent investigations are still underway — one by the legislature and the other by a federal prosecutor. His internal investigation does lay out an explanation for what happened and will be contrasted with the results from the other two inquiries.

The report was complete and came to a sound, factual conclusion backed up by numerous footnotes and thousands of documents, Christie said.

“We gave them unfettered, complete access to everyone in this government,” Christie said.

“I think the report will stand the test of time.”

He did concede that he should have gathered more information before sharing his thoughts on the lane closings back in December when he originally mocked accusations that the administration was involved. This claim was proven false once Kelly’s “traffic problems” message was revealed.

Christie said he regretted ever putting Wildstein on the Port Authority.

“It was (former Port Authority deputy executive director) Bill Baroni who brought David Wildstein into the Port Authority,” Christie said. “I obviously believe having David Wildstein at the Port Authority was a mistake.”

He also said Samson’s resignation had been in the planning stages for almost a year.

Some members of the media said the report had tinges of sexism — Kelly’s personal life was explored in-depth but not that of some of the men involved. Kelly’s breakup was chronicled and her alleged distraught emotional state was documented in detail as a possible motivating factor for her actions.

When questioned about the claims of sexism, Christie said the document was based on fact.

In January, Christie held a news conference that stretched on for about two hours in which he explained that he had no involvement or prior knowledge in the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in September.

AFP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • sigrid28

    One person’s “tinges of sexism” (Michael Phillis’s term above) is another person’s justification for never casting a vote for Chris Christie on the basis of the misogyny he has endorsed in this “document.” This piece also attempts to destroy the credibility of another woman, Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, who has accused the Christie administration of trying to trade Sandy money for her city’s approval of a development project sponsored by the law firm of David Samson. Coincidentally, the day after the report was released, Samson resigned from his post at the Port Authority, to which Chris Christie appointed him, in part because the conflicts of interest he brought with him and carried out from within the Port Authority, are and have been on full display since January 2014.

    I’m sure there are many other reasons for women nationwide to refuse to vote for Chris Christie on the basis of this investigative report, probably the main one being that his attorneys never interviewed the principals before issuing 367 pages that provide a transparent–I would say insultingly transparent–exoneration for Chris Christie with respect to what has been called the George Washington Bridge scandal. It constitutes a waste of $1 million in taxpayers’ money–following the $12 million Christie squandered to hold a special election (in which Cory Booker won the seat formerly held by Frank Lautenburg) separate from the gubernatorial election last November. In six monthys, taxpayers in New Jersey spent $13 million to further Chris Christie’s political ambitions–proof positive that Christie’s supposed self-confidence is “all hat, no cattle.”

  • Grannysmovin

    “The report was complete and came to a sound, factual conclusion backed up by numerous footnotes and thousands of documents, Christie said.” “We gave them unfettered, complete access to everyone in this government,” Christie said.”

    How can this report be complete and come to sound and factual conclusion without interviewing the main characters; Bridget Kelly, David Wildstein, Bill Baroni, Bill Stepien, Micheal Dreweniak and David Samson?

    Giving unfettered, complete access to documents and all personal in his administration. Christie is an attorney who knows if there is something you don’t want people to know about you do not put it in writing – no paper trail. Also were these 70 interviews Q&A sessions or were they depositions under oath?

    Christie states now: Obviously believe having David Wildstein at the Port Authority was a mistake.” However back in December 2013 Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak issued a statement calling Wildstein “a tireless advocate for New Jersey’s interests at the Port Authority.”“We are grateful for his commitment and dedication to the important work of the Port Authority and thank him for his service to the people of New Jersey and the region.” “He is there in that job because he is well-suited to the task of playing a role in reforming the Port Authority in accordance with the governor’s goals,” Drewniak said. – See more at: See more at:

    Christie statement at a Town Hall Meeting on 3/13/14: “Said listen I’m a trained Lawyer, what that means I could make up an answer at any time that sounds convincing.”

    • johninPCFL

      The grand gamble was showing that no one emailed Christie of the plan beforehand, or during the execution. Christie may have insisted on that. Being a federal prosecutor has its perks.
      However, if no emails amongst the players said (in efffect) “the boss wants to stay out of the loop”, then it’s reasonable to assume he didn’t know about it.
      The question now becomes: how exhaustive was the search of the personal phones and computers of the various players? If Kelly, Baroni, and Wildstein didn’t allow access to their personal devices, then the whole exercise is a waste of time and money.

    • Bill

      I wonder why he couldn’t come up with a convincing lie / answer this time? I guess he’s not a well trained Lawyer after all !

  • FT66

    I do think Christie is heading to that moment of Nixon: “Am not a Crook”. Why should David Samson resign now at age 74 and not retiring? Why didn’t Christie explain to people the reason of his resignation? Those who were ready to open their pockets to donate to Christie’s 2016 bid, should hold on. This man is heading to a bad place, I suppose!

  • manesandtails1

    Christie is great at protecting himself by hiring attorneys that will use his lies as evidence.

  • CL38

    When is CHRISTIE resigning????

  • Bill

    If you believe that I’ve got a bridge you can buy!

  • Haymitch Abernathy

    Always keep in mind that Hussein Obama’s primary war is against the Constitution of the United States.