Christie blasts NYT, former ally

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pushed back Saturday afternoon against a former ally and The New York Times over a report that the governor knew of last year's lane closures.

In an email obtained by The Hill to political allies and reporters, Christie's office dismissed the Times' “sloppy reporting” and blasted former Port Authority executive David Wildstein, the source of the claims. The email accused Wildstein, the official who personally oversaw the lane closures, of trying to cover himself by laying blame on the governor.

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“David Wildstein has been publicly asking for immunity since the beginning, been held in contempt by the New Jersey legislature for refusing to testify, failed to provide this so-called 'evidence' when he was first subpoenaed by the NJ Legislature and is looking for the Port Authority to pay his legal bills,” reads the email, titled “5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That's Not A Bombshell.”

“Bottom line – David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” the email concludes.

The Christie email also digs into Wildstein's background, highlighting reports that have questioned his record as Port Authority executive and Mayor of Livingston.

“In David Wildstein’s past, people and newspaper accounts have described him as 'tumultuous' and someone who 'made moves that were not productive',” the email states.

The Christie counter-attack comes after the Times on Friday reported on a letter from Wildstein’s lawyer claiming that “evidence exists” that Christie knew about the lane closings as they were happening. Christie has denied knowing about the lane closures and fired his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, who is accused of deliberately snarling traffic on the George Washington Bridge as punishment for the Fort Lee mayor's failure to endorse Christie. 

No evidence has been produced to suggest that Christie knew or is lying about the incident.

Democrats have pushed back against Christie's counter-attack.

“If what Christie says about Wildstein in his oppo-dump is true, why did Christie's administration appoint him to such a senior position at the Port Authority?” the Democratic National Committee said in an email to reporters. “We've seen plenty of bluster and attacks from team Christie in recent weeks, but what we haven't seen are any explanations as to why the Christie Administration shut down the lanes.”

This story was updated at 11:25 p.m.