Christie Still Backs Port Authority Chair

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Gov. Chris Christie is standing by his Port Authority Chair, David Samson—"strongly, firmly," as Christie put it in an interview Thursday evening. Christie joined with host Eric Scott on the monthly "Ask The Governor" radio show on NJ 101.5.  

"And I disagree with Pat Foye," Christie added, referring to remarks earlier this week by Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye to the Daily News editorial board, where Foye questioned Samson's "moral authority" to lead the Port Authority.

Christie's remarks on Samson were his first since Jan. 9, when he defended Samson, whose name had popped up in the bridgegate emails as "retaliating" against Foye after Foye ordered the Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge reopened.  

"I sat and met for two hours yesterday with Mr. Samson—General Samson—and again, I'm confident that he had no knowledge of this, based upon our conversations and his review of his information," Christie said during his marathon press conference following the release of the Bridgegate emails. Governor Christie calls Samson "General" following a brief Samson stint as Attorney General under Democratic New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey. 

Since that news conference—Christie's last public press conference—WNYC has reported on several potential conflicts of interest between Samson's official role as Port Authority chief and his private roles as Christie fundraiser and head of a prominent New Jersey law firm. 

Christie downplayed Foye's comments as the latest salvo in a long-running feud between Foye and Samson. "They're just public now," Christie said. Asked if he'd discussed the issue with Samson, Christie responded "Sure. Many times." He added. "The latest incident is nothing new."

Indeed, emails released in the Bridgegate investigation show team Christie expressed deep disdain for Foye—from Samson on down. "Playing in traffic. Made a bad mistake," Samson said in an email to Vice Chair Scott Rechler after the lane closures became public. Samson was complaining to Rechler that he believed Foye had leaked emails to reporters. 

“What a piece of excrement,” Christie’s spokesman, Michael Drewniak, said of Foye after seeing his now famous email blowing the whistle on the bridge scheme. 

“A piece of crap,” agreed David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official who ordered the lane closures. 

"Holy shit, who does he think he is, Capt. America?" former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien wrote after seeing Foye's email halting the closures.  

"Bad guy," Wildstein responded. "Welcome to our world."

"With some of these disputes," Christie said Thursday night on 101.5, "Governor Cuomo and I have to resolve them. And we do because Andrew Cuomo and I have a great relationship and have worked extra well over the last three years. And that will continue as long as I'm governor and he's governor. But it's a dysfunctional agency, as I've said before."  

On Thursday, when asked if Samson should resign—as several newspaper editorial boards have recommended—Cuomo told WNYC, "I don't know. I don't have an opinion on that."



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Comments [2]

iMan9796 from Irvington

Did Gov. Christie read Samson's emails? Gov.Christie stated that he had a meeting with Samson for 2 hours and is convinced that Samson had no knowledge or involvement in Bridgegate. Gov.Christie has had ample time to read Samson's email about Foye "playing in traffic," and how Foye "made a big mistake," by giving Ft. Lee back their access lanes to the GWB, and how he's helping NJ retaliate against NY side of the Port Authority? Perhaps Gov. Christie has no knowledge of that of either, just like he has no knowledge about anything the people that he employs is doing around him.

If Gov. Christie let go Stepien for the "tone" of his email, why is Gov. Christie still holding on to Samson the King of Conflict of Interest Enrichment? Bridget Kelly was fired by Gov. Christie for lying to him about her involvement in Bridgegate. Samson lied to Gov. Christie for 2 whole hours about his involvement in Bridgegate and still remains employed at the thoroughly corrupt Port Authority.

When will someone give Gov. Christie a copy of Samson's emails for him to read and then ask him how soon will he have Samson clean out his desk at the Port Authority? If Gov. Christie continues to support & protect Samson, then Gov. Christie has lost any credibility he has left, if he has any left at this point.

Mar. 01 2014 10:32 PM
Donald Diamond

If General Sampson did not know the details of the bridge closing when New York’s Mr. Foyle’s emails surfaced, it is inconceivable that General Sampson did not undertake an immediate investigation. Practical reality dictates Gov. Christie must have full knowledge of all the details to come to the decision that General Sampson should not be removed when he threw the others under the bus. This scenario renders Gov. Christie’s words claiming lack of knowledge of the facts to be without the ring of truth.

Feb. 28 2014 01:20 PM

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