Andrew Kelly / Reuters
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sits on stage during the Super Bowl hand-off ceremony on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square, as part of the Super Bowl lead up in New York, Feb, 1, 2014.
An email from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office Saturday launched a double-barreled attack against the former ally who ordered the September bridge closures and The New York Times for publishing his allegations that Christie knew of them at the time.
“Bottom line – David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” the email, obtained by NBC News Saturday afternoon, concluded.
Wildstein, the Port Authority official who actually ordered the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year, set off a political storm Friday over precisely when Christie learned about the controversial incident.
In a letter to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a lawyer for Wildstein said “evidence exists tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”
In a Jan. 9 news conference at which he apologized for the scandal, Christie said, “I first found out about it after it was over.”
Later on Friday, Christie’s office released a statement saying Wildstein’s letter, in fact, “confirms what the Governor has said all along — he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein’s motivations were for closing them to begin with.”
The email revealed Saturday, a markedly more aggressive response, not only strongly states that Christie was not involved in the controversy dubbed Bridgegate, but also attacks Wildstein’s character.
“As he has said repeatedly, Governor Christie had no involvement, knowledge or understanding of the real motives behind David Wildstein’s scheme to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge,” the email reads.
It then goes on to describe Wildstein as a “tumultuous” figure.