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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  January 8, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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experiment where we're just giving people cash transfers, i can't begin to imagine the fox news coverage of that program. thank you both that is all in for this evening, the rachel maddow show starts now. i'm excited to race upstairs and watch your show for the next hour. >> thank you. we've been waiting for this day for a long time, this is going to be amazing. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. that's very nice of chris to say, i have to say, i think the show is going to be a doozy, the story we've been covering from the beginning, before anyone else was covering it has just become a very big story. this is the local traffic column in the bergen record newspaper. it's about driving in and around new jersey. a lot of the ink in this column is devoted to the daily battle of trying to be a commuter who
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travels from new jersey to new york city. the local traffic column wrote up a really weird and unusually terrible week from trying to drive from new jersey into new york this was the photo they ran to accompany their article. can you see there's a guy standing in the middle of the traffic, he's not like a cop or something, he's in khakis and a little blue shirt. he got out of his car to try to figure out what it was that had completely stopped trfk getting on to the nation's most heavily trafficked bridge from the new jersey town of ft. lee. that column about the traffic jam on the bridge in fort lee, ran on friday. it had been like that for days. it stopped the traffic on to the bridge, the traffic jam gridlocked all the surface streets in the town of fort lee, hundreds of cars backed up on to the streets for hours during
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rush hour, coming and going, it was epic, it lasted for days. it turns out that traffic jam was created on push, which -- they knew right from the start. the port authority, which runs the bridge cut the number of tollbooths from 3 to 1 on the big span. the burgen record asked, why would the port authority purposely quadruple commuting times for some of the people who live closest to one of the nation's busiest bridges. good question, bergen record traffic columnist. good question. and at this point on the friday of the week that this traffic jam happened, at this points this still was a local story about a traffic jam, but the point at which it stopped being a local story about a traffic jam, and started being a story about why chris christie is probably never going to be president of the united states is when this happened. . when the port authority which runs the bridge, put out a statement saying, the week long
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traffic jam that gridlocks the town of fort lee, that traffic jam was because of a secret traffic study. as soon as they said that, and the traffic columnist called around and asked for comment from local officials on that statement, the police chief in fort lee and the mayor in fort lee immediately called bull pucky on that claim. it's not true, i asked the port for an explanation, but they haven't responded. i thought we had a good relationship, now i'm beginning to wonder if there's something i did wrong. am i being sent some message? yes, as it turns out, you were being sent a message. traffic jams caused by poorly organized traffic studies are not big news stories. but the state of new jersey is being run in such a way, that
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traffic patterns are being manipulated, that is public corruption. that's public corruption and the abuse of public office potentially on a criminal scale. and all along, ever since that bergen record traffic columnist started asking questions about what looked like a weird local news story, chris christie has been saying, there's nothing to see here, there's no news here, there's nothing to do with him. today it turned out the order to do this thing, the order to gridlock the town of fort lee, new jersey and shut down those lanes on that bridge, came straight from governor christie's office. the statement from the port authority claiming the shutdown was part of a traffic study, that came on day four, on thursday of that week. it was written by one of governor christie's top appointees. it was written by david
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wildstein. the same chris christie appointee, he is the same chris christie political appointee who gave the order to close those lanes on the bridge. he's the man who gave specific instructions to bridge officials to not warrant local police, and not warrant town of fort lee about what was about to hit them. other e-mails that have been made public show that the port authority knew they were advised explicitly that shutting down those lanes on the bridge would cause the whole town of fort lee to be gridlocked in a backlog of hundreds of stuck cars. they did it anyway. that is explicitly why they did it. that wasn't a bug, that was a feature, that's what they were going for. we now know that because partially redacted e-mails and text message transcripts were published today. those transcripts and e-mails show that governor christie's
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appointee to the port authority didn't come up with that idea on his own, it came from governor christie's office directly. boom! look, this is an e-mail from governor christie's office, deputy chief of staff telling david wildstein at the port authority, "time for some traffic problems in fort lee." the response from david wildstein, got it. and so it was done, the lanes were ordered shut down. fort lee was not warned, among the people caught in the ensuing traffic jam for hours were police assigned to look for a missing 4-year-old girl. it was the first day of school. school buses were late getting thousands of kids to school. it went on all week. i've asked the port authority for an explanation but they haven't responded.
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governor christie's office knew that fort lee was going nuts and fort lee officials were getting no response. inquiring whether that mayor was getting his calls returned. the gleeful response, radio silence david wildstein forwarded the actual complaints from the fort lee mayor explaining, school buses can't get kids to school for the first day of classes. is it wrong that i am smiling? david wildstein responds, no, no, it's not wrong that you're smiling. i feel badly about the kids. i guess. david wildstein responds, they are the children of buono voters, meaning, barbara buono. the democratic candidate who ran against chris christie for governor when he ran for re-election this past year. do not worry about the harm we are deliberately causing the
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children of this community. we'll make them pay. the traffic study excuse that was invented to explain what happened, that was made up. the traffic jam was deliberately created on orders from the governor's office directly. it was recognized as something that would cause harm. it was intended to cause harm it was causing harm and local officials were complaining about that harm, it was recognized in realtime and celebrated those officials were getting no explanation for what was happening to them. and it was motivated by partisan politics. because governor christie's employees discussed it in those terms. we do not know what caused governor christie's office to unleash this hell on the town of fort lee. it's been previously suggested that the mayor of fort lee refused to endorse his bid for
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re-election. was the mayor's refusal to provide that endorsement the aren't governor's office ordered up some traffic problems in fort lee? we still do not know that we also do not foe if governor christie himself instructed his staff to do this or it was an effort to run him out of office. what i've seen today for the first time is unacceptable. i am outraged and deeply saddened to learn, that not only was i misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. this kind of behavior is unacceptable and i will not tolerate it. this behavior is not representative of me or my administration in anyway. people will be held responsible
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for their actions. that represents a change by governor christie, who previously responded by mocking reporters who dared to ask him about it. >> i worked the cones. unbeknownst to everybody, i was the guy out there. i actually was the guy working the cones out there. you really are not serious with that question? what happened? no, i haven't. just because john wisniewski is obsessed with this, and loretta weinberg, it shows you they have nothing to do. >> they are new jersey legislators who have been investigating this scandal since it first broke. >> he's denied that anyone in his office had any knowledge of the shutdown whatsoever. >> i've spoken to everybody on my staff and asked anybody
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around here and my campaign manager if they knew anything more about this that we didn't already know, they told me know, and so i -- you know, the chief of staff and the chief council assured me that they feel comfortable that they have all the information we need to have. >> now it turns out the whole thing was ordered from within his office and at least one of his top staffers had updates throughout on the planning for the shutdown on it's effect on the town. the campaign manager was one of the people advising the guy who ordered the shutdown on how to react to the press coverage of the scandal once it broke into the open that campaign manager has just this week been named the chairman of the republican party for the whole state of new jersey. after this bombshell release of documents this morning, the bergen record followed up this afternoon with the darkest turn in the story yet.
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the first day of the man made politically motivated traffic disaster that was ordered by governor christie's office, the first day was monday september 9th. on tuesday september 10th, the emergency medical services coordinator for fort lee wrote to the mayor to explain what this traffic disaster meant for first responders in fort lee, quoting from the report tonight, on december 9th, the first day of the traffic paralysis, ems crews took 7 to 9 minutes to arrive at the scene of an accident where four people were injured. when the response time should have been less than four minutes. >> it also took responders 7 minutes to reach an unconscious 91-year-old woman who died of cardiac arrest. he did not say her duff was caused by delays. paramedics were delayed in responding to the woman's case due to the heavy traffic in fort lee. the paramedics had to meet the ambulance on route to the hospital instead of on the scene
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where the woman collapsed. the woman did later die. emergency responders were late getting to a third medical emergency the first morning, it took more than an hour to arrive at a building where a person had called 911 complaining of chest pains, the delay was because of the standstill traffic on route 46 east in fort lee, which was caused by the deliberate traffic disaster ordered by chris christie's office. so far chris christie has accepted the resignation of david wildstein. he accepted the resignation of another one of his appointees, who was involved in the shutdown, and lied to the state assembly by telling them the whole thing was caused by this mysterious traffic study. the governor's top authorities is named in the e-mails released today, as helping the governor's
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office retaliate in some way, when new york officials sought to mitigate the impact of what chris christie's office was trying to orchestrate for forts lee, is that the next resignation? his top appointee to the port authority? what happens to his deputy chief of staff who apparently gave the order directly to do this to fort lee, what happens to the governor's spokesman who's mentioned in the e-mails today as being involved in managing the exit of david wildstein, and crafting a thankful statements for governor christie, praising david wildstein as a tireless advocate for new jersey's interests. what happens to the governor's spokesman now? what happens to the chairman of the political party now who was involved in crafting this response, and just this week got elected to run the political party in the state of new jersey and advising the national governor's association, since chris christie runs that thing now and he's going to run for
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president. in new jersey's largest paper today a blistering editorial lays out the stakes. this was an outrageous use of public resources. and apparently a massive lie. governor christie's attempts to laugh this off abeer to be dishonest, we can't be sure he personally knew about the correspondents of one of his top aides, still he bears responsibility either way if it turns out he did know, he's obviously lying, and unfit for office. even if he did not know, his officials are liars, if chris christie cannot control them, how can we trust him as a potential future leader of our country? we have been covering this story from the beginning. before anyone else in the national news covered it. even though we got teased nor covering a traffic jam, now this
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is looking like the top story. the assembly man who has been leading the investigation into this incident and attacked mercilessly by governor christie for doing so is going to join us here next. a and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ we've got allstate, right? uh-huh. yes! well, i found this new thing called... [ dennis' voice ] allstate quickfoto claim. [ normal voice ] it's an app. you understand that? just take photos of the damage with your phone and upload them to allstate. really? so you get [dennis' voice] a quicker estimate, quicker payment, [normal voice] quicker back to normal. i just did it.
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our exclusive interview with the man who is leading the investigation into the chris christie bridge scandal is right here live next. so you're telling me your mom has a mom cave? hi boys! i've made you campbell's chunky new england clam chowder. wow! this is incredible! i know. and now it has more clams! [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. what? [ male announcer ] it fills you up right.
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before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. [ male announcer ] just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. [ corrine ] super poligrip is part of my life now. the documents that have been published are both shocking and outrageous they show government at its worst.
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among other things, they call into serious question the honesty of this governor and his staff. as a result of what has been revealed today, this governor has a lot of explaining to do. there's two possibilities, either he zbt know what's going on in his front office or there's lying going on. >> we were concerned for your continued employment at the port authority if you said something outside of the chain of command? >> i respect the chain of command. >> that's not an answer to the question. >> you just expressed to me you do have a certain amount of discretion when it comes to requests made about the bridge, but in this case you chose not to exercise that discretion. is the reason you chose not to exercise that discretion because you feared for your employment? >> i was concerned about what
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mr. wildstein's reaction would be if i did not follow his directive. >> as to whether it's political retribution, it's either gross incompetence or political incompetence by people who thought they could get away with something like this in broad daylight. either way, it stinks. >> the new jersey assembly man who has been at the center of the scandal from the beginning is john wisniewski. he's had the subpoena power to compel testimony and compel the release of documents in this case, those documents include the e-mails released today in which governor chris christie's deputy chief of staff e-mailed david wildstein and-day-old him, it's time for traffic problems in fort lee. he responds to that e-mail by saying, got it. >> tomorrow, david wildstein is scheduled to testify underoath
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to explain what happened here. today he filed a lawsuit trying to quash that subpoena so he doesn't have to appear. he's challenging the validity of the signature of assembly man wisniewski on the subpoena itself, which is what you call a reach. joining us now for the interview is chairman john wisniewski. >> as far as you know, is david wildstein going to have to testify to your committee tomorrow? >> i don't believe the court's going to give him any relief, it's outside the court's jurisdiction. we have the ability to issue subpoenas under our rules, and the state constitution. we have a valid subpoena, he should show up and testify. >> these 22 pages of e-mails and text messages were released today.
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what do you think the public should take away from those documents? >> what was revealed was, what we've all suspected but not had proof that this was a political operation it became clear by what was released there was no valid governmental reason, this was purely a political operation. and it came out of the governor's office. after it came out of the governor's office, there was an effort to try to concoct a rationale for doing, and an effort to diminish anybody's credibility who dare challenge it. for everybody who thinks government can't be trusted, chris christie gave everybody ten more reasons to believe that, and for everybody who wants to see government do the right thing, it's a frustrating day. >> one of the things we saw as the public for the first time today in these 22 pages that were released were the heavy
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redactions. that wasn't you and your committee redacting those documents? >> most of the redactions in documents we received came from the documents supplied by mr. wildstein's attorney, there was some redactions in documents supplied by mr. beroni's attorney, of the 20 some you're talking about, i'm not sure where they came from, what's frustrating is, there's no explanation as to why they are redacted, are they claiming privilege? some type of exception to providing them under subpoena? we don't know, we have asked that question. >> with the 22 pages released, we have heard that hundreds of pages have been turned over. as someone trying to report this story, i get iffy reporting partially released documents. should we expect those pages will be released to the public? is there any reason to hold them back. and should we see these pages as
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representative of what you have learned? are we going to get the rest of it? >> there's thousands of pages of documents, and mr. wildstein's commission is 907 pages. what we want to do is have this hearing tomorrow, and provide mr. wildstein an opportunity under oath to answer questions. there's an august 13 e-mail about trying to create traffic problems in fort lee. he says, got it. you won't know what that means unless you've had a conversation about this topic beforehand. who did he have that conversation with, was there a meeting? was there a discussion as to the rationale, those are questions we need to ask and get answers to, but i think that at the conclusion of tomorrow's hearing, there will be more documents made available to the public and ultimately the goal of the committee is to share all of this information with the public, they ought to know what happened here, and they ought to be able to make their own judgment. this is embarrassing for government and frustrating, it's an abuse of power, where people
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who were entrusted with enormous power, and used it for partisan political purposes that border on petty and childish. >> in terms of the governor himself, he has released a statement saying in a million different ways it wasn't me, it wasn't me, it wasn't me, people who did this will be held responsible. what's your reaction to that, and do you intend to rebuff the governor? do you have evidence that suggests he did know or it did go further into his office many. >> we know it's in his office, she wrote e-mails, not only to start it, but to monitor is, and why it took place, there are e-mails from other members of the governor's administration the governor's campaign manager, there's references to the governor's chief council, what were they involved with, his
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references to port authority chairman david sampson, we need to understand how this came about. there's lots of information coming our way by people who are observing this, you ought to ask this question, check this out. the hearing tomorrow would provide an invaluable opportunity to get to the bottom of this. if he wants to clear his name, it's an opportunity for him to come in and explain exactly how this happened. >> it's clear because of what was released today, there are some political leaders, looking into grand jury charges filed. >> public assets were used for a political purpose to exact
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retribution to exact the mayor of fort lee to do improper things that seems to be a violation of law. pat floyd the executive director in his scathing e-mail of september 13th, said violations of state and federal law have occurred. a prosecutor ought to look at these allegations and they ought to decide whether a law has been broken. >> federal prosecutor, state prosecutor? >> we have to question whether there will be an opportunity to get a fair hearing when the new jersey prosecutors are appointed by the governor. >> chairman of the assembly transportation committee which is investigating this matter, thank you for your time tonight. do you sub describe to your local paper, do you pay for access to your website? think about it? without local papers, where would we be? in the weeks leading up to
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today's explosion in the news, chris christie admonished reporters there was nothing to see here, and reporters should be embarrassed for even asking about it. the local news media in new jersey for not believing that, for not being intimidated and sticking with this story, the reporter who's work today uncorked this whole news day and changed the landscape of national republican politics for doing so joins us coming up. [ female announcer ] it figures. on your busiest day, you see the gray. try root touch up by nice 'n easy. just brush our permanent color matching creme
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there's a lot going on in the news today, the republican governor of the state of utah told 1300 newly married couples in his state that the state of utah will not recognize their marriages in anyway, while the state continues its appeal against same sex marriage rights all the way up to the supreme court the governor of utah does not have the power to unmarry those 1300 couples, this is as close as he can get. the special election in virginia today, the very definition of too close do call, the democrat in the race is ahead by just 10 votes, 10 it turns out the polar vortex is part of the problem in this case. one island has not been able to submit its votes for counting yet because no vote can get to the island. there's no bridge. either akamak county is going to
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have to wait for a thaw to count those votes or they're going to need a bigger boat. there's going to be a recount in that race no matter what. bob mcdonald gave his outgoing state of the state speech in which he apologized for the gift scandal, the ethics and corruption scandal that overshadowed his one term in office and has left hanging the question and if and when he will be criminally indicted. it's been three years since gabby giffords was shot and very nearly killed in tucson, ariz a arizona. the congresswoman wrote an op ed in the new york times today, very moving, likening the long haul struggle to reform the nation's gun laws to her own long struggle to recover from her physical injuries encountered in that assassination attempt. today is also the 50th
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anniversary of lyndon johnson declaring a war on poverty in his state of the union address? 1964. president obama is scheduled to give a speech on poverty tomorrow. house republicans today also held a press conference on the subject of poverty in which the chairman of the house weighs and means committee said we should stop paying unemployment benefits all together because war on poverty, that's his proposed solution there's lots going on on today's news, that's all before you get to new jersey. and you definitely do want to get to new jersey in today's news, this story that broke wide open today, broke in such a way that it may spike chris christie's hopes of being the republican nominee for president some day. today's news did not come out of the blue, we have covered governor christie's trouble with
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this story on the show. our website was the first national media outlet to cover the story extensively in print. the show that precedes our, chris hayes' show just scored a blockbuster interview with the mayor of fort lee, the mayor of the town who is at the center of this retaliation. >> it seems from the texts that we got our hands on today that you yourself didn't want to believe it was possible that this was just political punishment for refusing to endorse the governor. >> if you know me for 30 seconds, you know there's not an ounce of venom in my system, i don't think, and i try to find the best in people, so i automatically might -- my own instincts automatically dismiss the prospect that this is
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political retribution, who would close down lanes to the busiest bridge in the world to get to me. i never viewed myself as being that important. i'm thinking, how could this possibly be? now reading the e-mails and the texts we see today, it certainly is the case, i'm embarrassed for those people. >> i have to read this to you and get your response to it, it was one of the most vicious little jabs in there. we have david wildstein who has since resigned saying it will be a tough november for this little serbian. got a response to that? >> he deserves a butt kicking, okay? sorry, there, i said it. >> for the record the mayor of fort lee is not serbian, he's croatian, chris christie's political appointee at the port authority referred to him as this little serbian, in e-mails
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with governor chris christie's campaign manager, the man who has just been appointed to be the head of the new jersey republican party not serbian, croatian, but still. more ahead. there's a saying around here, you stand behind what you say. around here you don't make excuses. you make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up, and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it when you know where to look.
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to prep for the show every day, me and everybody who works on the show, we read a lot of stories from small local newspapers, we read all the national stuff too, but we really depend on local papers and local websites and local news bloggers and reporters for news that is not yet national news, like for instance, the wendy davis filibuster this summ summer. without the texas tribune hooking up that video feed and having their reporter tweeting the play by play, the wendy davis filibuster may never have become national news and she may not be running for governor. and then when mark sanford went missing and tried to tell people he was hiking the appalachian trail when really he was kanoodling with his mistress.
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it was this summer in elizabeth city, north carolina where a local republican challenged the residency of a student who was trying to run for local office. that story has huge implications for voting rights across north carolina and the country. the local newspaper reported that story that way, and that's how we found out about it. any time you see a story on national tv that starts in a small town, odds are that story began with local reporters who would not give up and who reported it right and aggressively, even though it always stirs stuff up on their hometown beat. and so it is about today's bombshell news with chris christie and the world's busiest bridge and the manufactured traffic jam that choked the little town of fort lee. that story started with a little newspaper, where they had a few questions that needed answering, even when powerful people mocked them for asking.
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>> i worked the cones, actually. unbeknownst to everybody, i was the guy out there, in overalls and a hat, so i wasn't -- i actually was the guy working the cones out there. you really are not serious with that question. >> they were serious, and it slowly turns out the local story turned into national news. local reporters made that possible and we in the national press owe them credit for opening this amazing can of worms, without them and their persisten persistence, the nation may never have heard the words, time for some traffic problems in fort lee. got it. without them, it would have been another traffic jam story. joining us now, the reporter who works for the bergen record where they originally broke the story. thanks for coming on the show. >> why did you pick up on this story in the first place? and what kept you going with it,
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when the governor was mocking you for even asking questions about it? >> as you know, the official line in the beginning was that this was a traffic study, but the more we asked questions the more things didn't measure up if it was something so innocuous. for months the port authority refused to release details on the traffic study or explain how it came about. the initial clue is that there was no notice to local officials, including police, emergency vehicles and that was a deviation from what you would see in a standard traffic study that affects the world's busiest bridge. >> your paper posted a story tonight detailing effects of the traffic jam on emergency responders based on a letter that was sent from the head of the emergency medical response to the mayor of fort lee about lengthened response times and people who had some serious
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medical consequences at the time. i'm not asking for your sources, but how did you get that story? how have you been able to get documents throughout this story that haven't been otherwise publicly available? >> we've been relentless in requesting public documents. and i think the story you're referring to came from public records out of fort lee, previously we had reported that the mayor complained during this week of traffic jams, directly to christie's appointee at the port authority that the traffic was obstruct iing emergency vehicles, tonight we're hearing of specific cases, a 91-year-old woman who had a medical emergency and ultimately died. what these stories show and they're based on public records out of fort lee is that there were some human stakes here with the traffic jam, and as we probably heard several times,
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that the story mushroomed from one about traffic cones to something that had implications far greater, both in political terms and the stakes for our readership, fort lee commuters and other people who used the bridge every day to get to work. >> your paper today, you first posted 22 pages out of thousands of pages that government officials have turned over to the assembly under subpoena, i am wary and very curious as to how those 22 pages were chosen and if there's nothing else in the pages that someone else hasn't seen. have you seen the rest of those documents? do you have any sense of what might be in the rest of these documents or how those 22 pages should be context ualized? >> no, and it's a good question.
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one we'll be pursuing. we want to review every document in the spirit of getting to the bottom of this. there are a lot of political undertones on both sides, i agree with you, full disclosure of all the documents and critical review of what they contain is the only way to get to the bottom of the story, and the broader context. >> one last thing i've been curious about for a long time. you wrote a profile of one of the men at the center of the case, david wildstein, he didn't like your profile, he bought your name as a website. when you put in that url it directs to the star leather to a rival newspaper to you. that's petty and probably not the most important thing in the world. i don't know if you had plans
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for your name as a website. do you feel like you're a personal target for having been out ahead of this story? >> no, not at all. i'm not that thin skinned. i'm in the public sphere anyone has a right to that name. by itself it wouldn't be newsworthy. i'm not important enough yet to desire the rights to >> now i have big plans for it, just because you said that, see if i can pick it up for you. reporter for the record of bergen county, who originally broke this incredible story out of new jersey today, congratulations on your work thus far, please stay in touch. >> thank you so much. >> new jersey governor chris christie could hardly have been more dismissive about the traffic jam, until the moment when the story could no longer
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one of the guys at heart of all this, the guy who ordered the lanes close, the guy who democrats say was trying to punish that mayor who didn't endorse christie, well, i know
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that guy. his name is david wielsteen and he's played a big role in my professional life. i used to work for him. you couldcy i owe my career to him. >> msnbc's steve corinachi has a relationship with the key guy in the chris christie scandal. steve joins us live next. [ male announcer ] alka seltzer plus presents the cold truth. [ coughs, sneezes ] [ sniffles ] i have a big meeting when we land, but i am so stuffed up, i can't rest. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope. they don't have a decongestant. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast-acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ inhales deeply ] alka seltzer plus. oh. what a relief it is. [ male announcer ] can't find theraflu, try alka seltzer plus for fast liquid cold and flu relief.
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>> i know you guys are upset about this. i'm not. i'm really not. it's not that big a deal. just because press runs around and writes about it both here and nationally, i know why that is and so do you. let's not pretend that it's because of the gravity of the issue. it's because i am a national figure. >> are you convinced at this
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point that you know all there is to know about whatever happened there? >> yeah. listen, i've asked my staff to give me a full briefing. they've told me everything that we know. and none oaf it makes sense. it's all about politics. >> joining us now is steve kornacki the host of "up with steve kornacki." steve worked for a nonpartisan jersey political website owned by wielstein. but he didn't know it at the time because he operated the website under a political pseudonym. what is the biggest revelation? >> that that this extends into the governor's office. now you can't just say this was
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two rogue people at the port authority. this is now in the governor's office. the reason it's so significant, besides the pr value, there's an issue of timing here which had to do with the subpoena power which expire next tuesday. and for a variety of very complicated sort of -- the othe only in new jersey reasons, there was reason to believe until really today that have that. power by the incoming assembly speaker might not be extended. >> too which might end the investigation. >> exactly. i believe that's what the christie people were hoping for. that would be the end of it. the incoming speaker is a democrat. but one of the stories about new jersey politics you have to keep in mind is that christie has had an alliance with major democratic power brokers in the state. and this incoming speaker is the product of that alliance. so there was reason to blooe before today that incoming speaker might say i'm not going to extend it. now you have no choice. >> the christie administration i think test that comes up next is
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whether or not chris christie can find it within himself to say publicly, you know what, mr. new assembly speaker, you ought to keep the subpoena power because we need to get to the bottom of this because i'm as outraged as anybody about this. this makes us all look terrible. is he capable of that? >> from a pr standpoint, there are so many things that chris christie should do, but the question that hangs over all of this is what did he know and when did he know it. every action that he takes right now, if it's firing this person, firing that person, if -- and i don't know. but if chris christie did know, if he had some knowledge. if there's more documents out thereto that could definitively link chris christie, that every person he ticks off or throws overboard right now has a reason to -- >> reason to pop-up. if david is forced to testify is that a potential development
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tomorrow? >> i think the fact that he's fighting this tells me i'm not expecting there to be, you know, if he does testify i'm not expecting there to be any bombshells from his testimony. but again my suspicion is that fighting the subpoena has to do with trying to run that clock out to the end of the session, which that's not going to happen now. . >> steve kornacki, thanks. it's been great having you. it's now for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." thanks for being with us. okay, make sure the kids are gone to bed, all right? because we're going to talk jersey politics chris christie style and, you know, the language can get kind of colorful. >> david wildstein deserves an ass kicking okay? >> it's politics new jersey


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