Another top Christie administration official steps down

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced at a news conference Friday that yet another member of his administration — his appointed head of the New Jersey Port Authority David Samson, who to this point Christie has strongly defended in the George Washington bridge scandal — is out.

Christie contended that Samson, 74, resigned not because of wrongdoing but because he had been wanting to step down for a year. Christie said he asked him to stay on during his reelection.

“The only reason he stayed is because I asked him to,” Christie said, adding, “I have every faith and trust in David’s integrity.”

Samson’s resignation, however, comes a day after an internal Christie administration review was released showing Christie did not know of the lane closures before they happened. Despite the 350-page report, Samson was not interviewed for the review. Christie said that was because “there were issues of attorney-client privilege that would be compromised.”

Christie said the bridge scandal would not affect his decision to run for president. But he acknowledged if he were to run for office now, he would be hampered by the scandal.

“There’s no question that this shakes your confidence,” Christie acknowledged in a sometimes testy news conference. “And if it doesn’t shake your confidence, you’re arrogant.”

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