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Hurricane Sandy survivor: Chris Christie is sitting on $800 million meant for disaster relief

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A New Jersey activist and Hurricane Sandy survivor filmed during a confrontation with Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Wednesday accused his administration of short-changing a $1.1 billion federal relief package meant to help residents.

“Only 20 percent of those dollars have gotten to the people,” James Keady told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “Of the $1.1 billion, $219 million has gone out. That means that the governor and his staff in Trenton are sitting on $800 million.”

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According to Keady’s advocacy group, Finish The Job, Christie’s administration has mismanaged the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) while boasting about its success in the public eye.

“Photo ops, Christie, President Obama, everybody walking on the beach, kumbaya, giving the hugs,” he said.

Keady faced off with Christie as the governor gave a speech in Belmar commemorating two years since the hurricane devastated New Jersey. Video of the encounter shows Keady standing in front of Christie bearing a sign saying, “Get Sandy families back in their homes,” prompting Christie to berate him from the stage.

“I’m glad you had your day to show off, but we’re the ones who are here to actually do the work,” Christie told him. “So turn around and get your 15 minutes of fame and then maybe take your jacket off and roll up your sleeves and do something for the people of this state.”

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Christie later added that if he had 1,000 things to do during the day, dinner with Keady “would be 1,001,” and told him to “sit down and shut up.”

But Keady, who grew up in Belmar, rebuked Christie’s accusation that he did not “do the work” in his community.

“When the hurricane happened, I actually took a month off from work, dropped everything and volunteered to help clean out peoples’ homes,” James Keady told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “It actually reached the point within a day or two [that] the borough gave me a borough dump truck running all the clean-up crews all over town.”

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Keady also insisted his information was accurate as of Oct. 24.

“Unless $800 million went out the door in the last four days, it’s still sitting there,” he said of the RREM funds.

Watch Hayes’ interview with Keady, as aired on Wednesday on MSNBC, below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s mental decline compared to Reagan’s hidden Alzheimer’s in brutal MSNBC assessment

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On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump's increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.

Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president's decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan's White House hid his Alzheimer's from the public.

"This is the man last week said he was the second coming, the 'chosen one,'" Wiley began. "It is very, very difficult to not have a conversation about whether or not he's competent to serve as president. I say that because there were actually objective measures this week."

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Former Dem Senator hilariously nails perfect impression of ‘pouting’ Trump at G7 because nobody ‘likes him’ there

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During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's Real Time, former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) made fun of Donald Trump before he arrived at the G7 summit in France,m saying he will pout his way through the weekend because the other world leaders loathe him.

With host Bill Maher asking how the Trump will conduct himself, Heitkamp immediately went into a very recognizable arms-crossed pout, which caused the audience to burst into laughter.

After the two posed as Trump and Geerman leader Angela Merkel from the last get together, Heitkamp had a few things to say about the president.

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Trump lies to the press about his massive tax increase while departing to France for the G7 Summit

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President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.

"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.

In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.

"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.

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