In a news conference Dec. 13, Mr. Christie, a Republican, said he learned of the controversy after the publication of an internal email from Patrick Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Foye angrily ordered the access lanes for Fort Lee restored on Sept. 13, the fifth day of the closures. The Wall Street Journal published details of that email on Oct. 1.
“The first I ever heard of the issue was when it was reported in the press, which I think was in the aftermath of the leaking of Mr. Foye’s email,” Mr. Christie said at the December news conference, in which he announced the resignation of the authority’s Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni amid the growing controversy. “I think that was the first I heard of it. But it was certainly well after the whole thing was over before I heard about it.”
Last week, the governor indicated that he had learned of the issue earlier. “It wasn’t when Pat Foye’s emails—I think there was an earlier story than that,” he said when asked at last week’s televised, two-hour news conference why he hadn’t tried to determine the reason for the Fort Lee gridlock when he first learned of it.
Mr. Christie said at last week’s news conference that he didn’t remember where he first read about the traffic problems.