NYTimes Correspondent: Wildstein Announcement Timed to Maximize Embarrassment

Following David Wildstein’s accusation that Gov. Chris Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures, New York Times National Correspondent Kate Zernike told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the bombshell information from Wildstein released Friday was strategically timed to maximize embarrassment for Christie before the Super Bowl.

Zernike said that the original version of her article contained misprinted information that was corrected very quickly. The original story claimed Wildstein has the evidence to prove Christie knew about the lane closures, contrary to what he said in his press conference. It also also said that Christie lied about Wildstein in his press conference.

Zermike said that all through the GWB lane closure investigation, the governor’s office has tried to make the story about someone else, other than the governor. For example, they have tried to turn focus to MSNBC and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

“This is a big story. Wildstein has been an incredible ally to Christie. He is now coming out and saying that the governor lied and he knew about this and if he doesn’t have the evidence himself, he can probably point the way to it,” Zernike said.

As for bombshell dropped on Friday, Zernike said, “I would say that this was a very politically timed bombshell to drop, which was the Friday before the Super Bowl the governor was hosting in New Jersey. I think it was timed for maximum embarrassment for Christie.”

Zernike said that she has some indication that Christie is telling the people in his office that they either have to commit to him and stay for the next two years or to leave now.

After Wildstein’s allegations were released, Zernike said that the usual Republicans didn’t come out to defend Christie. She said this is because while they have been very loyal to Christie, he has not shown them the same loyalty.

According to Zernike, the story doesn’t end here.

“I think it is going to be a couple of weeks before we see any evidence,” Zernike said.