Tags: bob mcdonnell | admits | gifts | not | good | judgment

Bob McDonnell Admits Taking Gifts 'Probably Not Good Judgment'

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 02:20 PM

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell admitted Friday he probably took his "eye off the ball" when he was governor and accepted gifts from Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams, but insisted that "there was never any quo" in the quid pro quo case he ended up facing.

"I complied with the laws," McDonnell told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I can see some of the choices that I made, there were things I did not know about that family members had gotten. I think probably taking out the particular loan, the business loan my sister and I took for our business, was a big red flag, and so in retrospect, obviously, that was something that was probably not good judgment on my part."

And if he could do it all again, "I wouldn't take any gifts because it opens up the door for people to attach a gift with a routine meeting, a cocktail party," he told the program.

McDonnell was at one time considered a potential running mate for 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, but in 2014 was convicted on 11 felony counts after he and his wife accepted nearly $200,000 in gifts and loans, including vacations and a Rolex watch. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but had remained free pending his appeals.

In June, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned McDonnell's conviction, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the prosecutors based their case on a "boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute." He further said that setting up meetings or calling other public officials on behalf of someone did not quality as an "official act."

McDonnell told show host Mika Brzezinski that the ordeal earned him a "PhD in suffering," and that the case was difficult on his entire family.

“I'm glad to be vacated, but I have done a deep dive of my entire life, 62 years," McDonnell said. "What have I done right, wrong? How can I be a better person? How can the suffering help me be more caring and helpful in public service and helping people outside of politics? So now that I'm on the other side of it, I think it's been an experience worth going through. I'll be a better person."

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Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell admitted Friday he probably took his "eye off the ball" when he was governor and accepted gifts from Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams, but insisted that "there was never any quo" in the quid pro quo case he ended up facing.
bob mcdonnell, admits, gifts, not, good, judgment
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2016-20-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 02:20 PM
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