Chris Christie Says He “Knew Nothing About” Jerry Jones Deal With Port Authority
The Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs last weekend, so we’re now officially done with stories about Jerry Jones and Chris Christie.
Ha ha, of course not! The story of the Cowboys owner and the team’s No. 1 fan will go on forever.
Here’s the latest: Christie says he “knew nothing about” a deal that gave a firm partially owned by Jones the contract to operate the observation deck at One World Trade Center.
“When Legends Hospitality got the contract [in March 2013], I knew nothing about it,” Christie said. “I didn’t know him. I had no relationship with him. Nor did I have any influence or knowledge of who was going to run the concessions at World Trade Center One, nor quite frankly, do I care. That was a New York issue. That’s a building in New York. I don’t deal with those issues.” The Port Authority awarded the contract to Legends Hospitality.
But, as David Sirota reports at the International Business Times, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a joint press release praising the selection of Legends Hospitality to run the observation deck.
Christie was criticized after accepting a free flight and tickets to a Cowboys game from Jerry Jones, due to that Port Authority contract. Two groups — one headed by former Stephen Colbert PAC lawyer Trevor Potter, another with ties to Hillary Clinton — have filed complaints urging the state’s ethics committee to investigate the trip.
The press release issued by Cuomo and Christie may not seem like a big deal. Taking Christie at his word, it was drafted and sent without his involvement. But it had ramifications: The day after, the Port Authority referenced the release when announcing the contract’s approval.
Christie has argued the flight and ticket were permissible gifts under an executive order allowing Christie to accept gifts from personal friends. Per the IBT, Christie has made several statements about how long he’s known Jerry Jones: He says he first met Jerry Jones in September 2013, while earlier he said he’d become friends with Jones over the last five years.
The Cowboys lost to the Packers last Sunday, 26-21.