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Chris Christie's Aide Joked About Giving a Local Rabbi 'Traffic Problems' Chris Christie's Aide Joked About Giving a Local Rabbi 'Traffic Proble...

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Politics

Chris Christie's Aide Joked About Giving a Local Rabbi 'Traffic Problems'

So say newly released messages around the George Washington Bridge scandal.

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

photo of Matt  Berman
February 27, 2014

You'd think things couldn't get much worse for Bridget Anne Kelly, Chris Christie's former deputy chief of staff. Kelly was the staffer who emailed former Port Authority official David Wildstein "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," the emblematic words of Gov. Christie's Bridgegate scandal.

But it actually gets worse.

In newly released messages, Kelly jokes to Wildstein about giving a local rabbi traffic problems of his own. The Aug. 19 conversation began when Wildstein sent Kelly a picture of a Middlesex County rabbi, Mendy Carlebach, with House Speaker John Boehner.

 

Here's how it went from there:

Kelly: I think this qualifies as some sort of stalking.

Kelly: You are too much.

Wildstein: He is Jewish Cid Wilson [a local Democratic activist and former political candidate].

Kelly: You are really so funny.

Kelly: He is. No doubt.

Wildstein: And he has officially pissed me off.

Kelly: Clearly.

Kelly: We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?

Wildstein: Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed.

Kelly: Perfect.

No one's really sure what the rabbi did to peeve Kelly and Wildstein, least of all the rabbi himself. "I don't understand it.... None of it makes any sense," Carlebach told The Record of Bergen County. Carlebach says that he knew Kelly from the state House, but that they never really had any kind of relationship. He also said he "never engaged" with Wildstein.

Wilson told The Record that he has no idea what's going on here, saying that the reference to him "seemed odd" and that he is "deeply appalled and offended" by the remarks.

Rabbi Carlebach actually does have at least some relationship with Christie. In April 2012, the rabbi accompanied him on a trip to Israel. "I feel that the trip was a major success for the governor and the delegation," Carlebach said at the time. "All in all, as a rabbi and a lifelong resident of the state of New Jersey, I felt proud to be alongside our governor on his first foreign trip, particularly when he visited holy sites in Israel."

The messages don't particularly worsen the scandal for the governor, but they serve as a reminder that Bridgegate isn't just going to go away.

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