NJ Senate majority leader: Christie bridge closure issue 'worse than I imagined'

New Jersey Senate Majority leader Loretta Weinberg, who represents Fort Lee in the state Senate and has been a leading Democrat on the investigation into lane closures last year on the George Washington Bridge, said the new revelations concerning the closures were “worse than I imagined.”

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“This is worse than I imagined — the whole thing was so bizarre, that what I accused the governor of was establishing an atmosphere that allowed this kind of thing to go on at the Port Authority, but apparently it’s the atmosphere in the front office as well,” she told The Hill.

New emails emerged Wednesday morning that revealed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly instructed a Port Authority official appointed by Christie to create “traffic problems” in Fort Lee. The Democratic mayor there had declined to endorse Christie for reelection.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she emailed David Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor.

Weinberg described the emails as a "smoking gun" implicating Christie in the closures. And she said Wildstein’s texts dismissing delays for school busses due to the closures were “disgusting.”

“What I do know is the governor’s deputy chief of staff was the person who apparently gave the order to close the lanes, and the governor’s eyes and ears at the Port Authority said he doesn’t care about the children — that’s all disgusting,” she said.

Weinberg also suggested there might be national security implications to the closure, as the George Washington Bridge is a main thoroughfare linking New Jersey and New York. She said Christie now has to explain his previous assertions that his administration had nothing to do with the closures.

“What I want Gov. Christie to do is act with as much accountability as he expects everyone else to act — he appointed this person, and it’s up to him now to explain what he knew, when he knew it,” she added.