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Hoboken Mayor: Threat Was ‘Direct Message’ From Christie

TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 14: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the State of the State Address in the Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse on January 14, 2014 in Trenton, New Jersey. In his speech Christie briefly addressed the ongoing George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal saying his administration
Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/2014 Getty Images

Chris Christie is going to have a harder time blaming his latest scandal on an aide’s shocking betrayal. A day after Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer claimed that two Christie officials suggested her city’s Sandy aid would be withheld unless she approved a redevelopment project, Zimmer said she was told the governor was behind the ultimatum. “The lieutenant governor [Kim Guadagno] pulled me aside and said, essentially, ‘You’ve got to move forward with the Rockefeller project. This project is really important to the governor,’” Zimmer recalled in a CNN interview. “And she said that she had been with him on Friday night and that this was a direct message from the governor.”

As for why she kept silent since May, Zimmer said that until the Bridgegate scandal broke she didn’t think anyone would believe her. “Quite frankly, if I came forward and no one believed me, then I’m going to put Hoboken in an even worse position,” she explained.

In a sign that the various probes into the Christie administration are quickly expanding, Zimmer said she spent several hours talking with federal prosecutors on Sunday, at their request. She turned over her journals and other documents. “I will provide any requested information and testify under oath,” she said.

On Sunday Christie’s spokesman said Zimmer’s allegations are “categorically false.” There was also some fallout from yesterday’s denial, in which the governor’s office lashed out at MSNBC, describing it as “a partisan network that has been openly hostile to Governor Christie and almost gleeful in their efforts attacking him.” The New York Times reports that while the network has devoted nearly twice as much coverage to Christie’s scandals as CNN, the folks at Morning Joe – a.k.a. the Christie 2016 campaign’s unofficial headquarters – were still hurt. “I was a little surprised when he took a jab at us,” co-host Mika Brzezinski told the paper. “I don’t think it’s legitimate to say this is a partisan attack,” she added. “I think this is a very real story, with legs.”

Christie spent the weekend fundraising in Florida, so he only faced one question as the new controversy unfolded. During a private event hosted by Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone on Sunday, Christie was asked when Bridgegate would end. He said he didn’t know. “I did the one thing I had to do,” Christie responded, according to Langone. “I fired them. What else can I do?”

Hoboken Mayor: Threat Was ‘Direct’ From Christie