Christie: I became friends with Cowboys owner after contract

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his friendship with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had no impact on a lucrative contract.

Christie said Thursday during his monthly radio show he first met Jones in September 2013 after a company co-owned by the Cowboys won a contract to operate the observation deck at New York City’s 1 World Trade Center. The building is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which Christie partially controls.

The Republican governor says he didn’t know who had the concession at the building.

Press releases from the time say Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH’-moh) called on the authority’s board of commissioners to approve the deal after a competitive bidding process.

Christie says critics are “partisan hacks” and “aluminum-foil-on-their-head conspiracy theorists.”