Excerpts from emails and text exchanges among members of Gov. Chris Christie's staff and his political appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The messages suggest that lane closures leading from the New Jersey town of Fort Lee to a major bridge were done as retribution against its mayor:
Aug. 13. Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly to David Wildstein, Port Authority director of interstate capital projects: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
-Wildstein: "Got it."
Sept. 10. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich text to Port Authority deputy executive director Bill Baroni: "Presently we have four very busy traffic lanes merging into only one toll booth. The bigger problem is getting kids to school. Help please. It's maddening."
Exchange among unknown Christie aides and appointees:
-"Is it wrong that I am smiling?"
-"I feel badly about the kids."
-"They are the children of (Democratic candidate for governor Barbara) Buono voters."
-"Bottom line is he didn't say safety."
Sept. 13. Wildstein email to Kelly, apparently after a Port Authority executive from New York discovered the lane closures and halted them: "The New York side gave Fort Lee back all three lanes this morning. We are appropriately going nuts. (Port Authority chairman David) Samson helping us to retaliate."
-Wildstein: "Yes, unreal. Fixed now."
Sept. 17. Sokolich to Baroni: "We should talk. Someone needs to tell me that the recent traffic debacle was not punitive in nature. The last four reporters that contacted me suggest that the people they are speaking with absolutely believe it to be punishment. Try as I may to dispel these rumors I am having a tough time.
"A private face-to-face would be important to me. Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to the errors of my ways. Let me know if you'll give me 10 minutes."
Sept. 17. Wildstein text to Baroni: "(Wall Street Journal reporter) Ted Mann just called my cell."
-Baroni: "Jesus. Call (Christie spokesman Michael) Drewniak."
Source: Documents obtained by The Associated Press
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