Gov. McDonnell Addresses Scandal While Visiting Troops Overseas


On Wednesday, Governor Bob McDonnell  broke his silence over the scandal surrounding campaign contributions, loans, and family gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

We learned Wednesday, he is currently visiting our troops serving in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

After apologizing for accepting loans from Williams, and paying back more than $124,000, McDonnell said, "I think because there was several gifts and loans, and it all came from one donor, there was, at least in the view of the public, an appearance of impropriety. I've served people of Virginia for 22 years now, and I'm sorry those things that have been done by me or my family have created a problem for Virginia government, and have caused some embarrassment. So I thought it was the right thing to do to make those loan payments back, and begin to heal the trust that might have been broken between me and the people."

The Governor then addressed why he paid back the loans to Williams now.

"I thought it was appropriate to look to the degree some of the choices I might have made in my personal life, or my family might have made with some of those gifts," McDonnell said. "If it undermined people's sacred trust in me or government, I wanted to make it right and that's what I was hoping to signal."

On the question of gifts received from Williams, the governor would only say that the investigation into them would take care of itself.

And McDonnell was adamant about not resigning.

"I'm not going anywhere. I love this job. I think there were a couple of very bad rumors about that."

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli also accepted gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams, although last week a state prosecutor found no evidence that Cuccinelli broke the law when he didn't disclose thousands of dollars in gifts.

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