Sunday, April 2, 2017

No mystery about Bridgegate: Christie lied from start to finish, paving way for Trump

This Reuters photo of Governor Christie ran with a December 2015 report on Donald J. Trump's comments about the Bridgegate scandal. On the presidential campaign trail, Trump accused fellow GOP candidate Christie of being complicit in the 2013 lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

There is no "lingering mystery of Bridgegate," as a headline on The Record's Opinion front asserts today.

In the court of public opinion, Governor Christie is guilty of lying about his knowledge of the George Washington Bridge lane closings, and his mouthpiece continues to lie about it.

On Wednesday, when two of Christie's former senior aides were sentenced to prison in the political revenge plot, spokesman Brian Murray took exception to comments from the judge.

Murray described the culture of the Governor's Office as "honest, honorable, bipartisan and effective," Star-Ledger opinion Columnist Tom Moran wrote on Friday.

"The judge in the case, Susan Wigenton, apparently touched a nerve by describing the attitude of his administration as, 'You are either with us or against us.'"

And brace for retaliation, if you were against the administration.

'Exposed as a liar'

Moran notes "Murray's most gutsy claim is that this administration has been honest."

"If you remember one thing from the trial, make it this," Moran wrote:

"Christie was exposed as a liar on his core claim in the case. 

"In his mea culpa press conference on Jan. 9, 2014, he said he was 'blindsided' by his staff and only learned this was an act of political revenge a day earlier, with the release of [his deputy chief of staff's] infamous email, 'Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.'

"Five witnesses testified under oath that they had spoken with him about it weeks or months earlier," Moran went on. "Three of them were his close allies, forced to reveal this by hostile questioning under oath.

"A box of kittens? Not quite. More like a nest of vipers," Moran concluded.

Trump on Christie

Right after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015, Christie announced that all Syrian refugees, even children, should be barred from New Jersey and the nation.

Still, less than a month later, the GOP thug labeled as unconstitutional fellow presidential candidate Donald J. Trump's proposal to bar all Muslim immigrants and visitors from entering the United States.

Trump fired back, accusing Christie of being complicit in the Bridgegate plot, Business Insider reported on Dec. 7, 2015.

"The George Washington Bridge, he knew about it .... Totally knew about it," Trump said at a campaign rally in South Carolina.

"They're closing up the largest bridge in the world [and] they never said, 'Hey, boss, we're closing up the George Washington Bridge tonight.'"

'Reform Agenda'

It's likely Christie lied about why he killed the Hudson River rail tunnels in October 2010, one of his first major acts in office.

He cited huge cost overruns that could put New Jersey on the ropes, but secretly laid plans to use leftover tunnel funds for road and bridge repairs to avoid the politically unpopular gas-tax hike.

Many of his initiatives, such as "Reform Agenda" and "Stronger Than the Storm," were only public relations and accomplished little.

In fact, Christie's record of lies, exaggerations and half-truths laid the groundwork for the Trump administration using falsehoods to smear opponents, denounce the media's "fake news" and lie about everything else.

More changes

With the layoff of award-winning Travel Editor Jill Schensul, her section is changing.

Today, only half of Page 2T in Travel carries photos of readers who take the section on their vacations, as opposed to a full page under Schensul.

And that smiling family on the Real Estate cover lives in Minnesota, not New Jersey.

On the Better Living cover today, The Record inexplicably calls the Hudson Valley's craft-beer breweries "the new Sonoma," an apparent reference to one of the most famous wine-grape growing regions in the United States.