By Mike Schneider
There was confrontation and there was humor.
“To be able to run an efficient and effective office, you have to have lanes of traffic, especially moving towards me. I thought you’d like that,” said Christie.
There also was a surprise headline to open the news conference.
“I received a call from David Samson who informed me that after reviewing the Mastro report, that he completely supports the recommendations laid out for the Port Authority and that he believes that the best way to start a new era at the Port Authority is with new leadership. In line with that belief, David tendered his resignation to me this afternoon, effective immediately,” said Christie.
The governor said the embattled Port Authority chairman really wanted to leave last year but stayed on at the governor’s request. And that, in turn, took Samson deep into the bridge scandal headlines. A scandal the governor is clearly pinning on Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein.
“I obviously believe that having David Wildstein at the Port Authority was a mistake,” said Christie.
As for Kelly, Gov. Christie explained why he didn’t want to give her a second chance to explain her actions.
“Whatever I might get from a conversation from someone who I know has already lied to my face, versus a look at this later on where people could say that we tried to do something to manipulate, coach, do whatever. I decided that the better course, the more prudent course was not to pursue someone who already not told me the truth when they had the opportunity to, but to let her go,” said Christie.
The governor says he has full faith on the Mastro report on the bridge scandal, a report he commissioned, and he also repeated how this has been a learning experience for him.
“You can bet I’m sensitized even more than I was before to this when you go through an experience like this,” said Christie.