MSNBC: Clinton’s Close Ties With McAuliffe ‘Very Bad’ for Democrats

• May 24, 2016 8:44 am


MSNBC's Morning Joe panelist Mark Halperin called the close ties Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) has with the Clintons and the Democratic Party "very bad" for them on Tuesday.

Reports broke Monday that the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation on whether contributions made to his successful 2013 gubernatorial campaign were illegal.

"Terry McAuliffe being targeted now is very bad for the Democrats, very bad for the Clintons because he is so close to them," Halperin said.

The investigation dates back a year, and the governor's office has said that McAuliffe has not been contacted by the FBI. Investigators with the probe have scrutinized McAuliffe's time as a board member for the Clinton Global Initiative:

The company of a Chinese businessman involved in a federal investigation into Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe pledged $2 million to the Clinton Foundation the same year that it wrote a six-figure check to McAuliffe’s campaign.

CNN reported on Monday that an ongoing Department of Justice corruption probe targeting McAuliffe is examining his tenure on the board of the Clinton Global Initiative, a foundation offshoot.

The FBI is reportedly examining whether donations to McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign were illegal.

Records show that more than 100 donors overlapped between donating to the Clinton Foundation and McAuliffe's campaign, and the FBI is interested in the donations from Chinese politician Wang Wenliang.

Wang donated $120,000 to McAuliffe's campaign, and he's also donated $2 million to the Clinton Foundation. Wang was previously a delegate to the China's National People's Congress but maintains he holds U.S. permanent resident status.

MSNBC's Willie Geist said that the story would have been a big story on its own but since the country is in the middle of a heated election season, there is an increased attention paid to it.

"It's strange that it's been going on for months and the governor's office claims to not know anything about it," Halperin said. "It's Democratic FBI, Justice Department. It's a Democratic administration and the fact that they are looking at this suggests the potential problem."