Bob McDonnell Says Some Reports On His Gifts Scandal Have Been Inaccurate

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R ) argued Thursday that some of the media’s reporting about his ongoing scandal involving gifts he received from a businessman has been “inaccurate.”

MSNBC host Chuck Todd interviewed McDonnell and asked the governor why Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams had given lavish gifts to McDonnell and his wife. The gifts have become the subject of an ongoing federal investigation in the final months of the governor’s administration.

“I don’t think it’s necessary at this point to get into the facts,” McDonnell responded. “That’s been largely outlined, although much of the reporting has not been accurate.”

Todd pressed McDonnell to correct the record, but the governor declined to specify any discrepancies as a federal investigation is ongoing.

“I have never done anything in my 22 years in office to abuse my office,” McDonnell added. “I’ve made the right decisions for people, whether they’ve been donors or not donors. There’s been nothing incorrect that we’ve done for Mr. Williams or anyone else.”

Asked whether his ethics scandal rubbed off on the Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s (R ) losing campaign to succeed him as governor, McDonnell instead attributed Cuccinelli’s loss to the government shutdown and a campaign funds deficit.

“Listen, I’ve taken responsibility for things that I would have done differently. I repaid loans, I’ve given back gifts,” McDonnell said when repeatedly pressed by Todd to take responsibility for the effects of his scandal on the governor’s race. “Everything I think we did was compliant with the law. I’m a governor. I don’t want to play pundit about what happened.”

This post has been updated.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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