WASHINGTON - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe fired back at Metro’s board for threatening service cuts while also defending himself over campaign donations made a year ago to the wife of an FBI official who ran for Virginia state senate.
A Wall Street Journal report said McAuliffe’s political action committee donated almost $500,000 to the campaign of Jill McCabe. She is the wife of Andrew McCabe, a top FBI official who was promoted to deputy director after his wife's failed run for office. Andrew McCabe later had oversight in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.
McAuliffe has been a longtime Clinton ally and while some are insinuating money was being used for political favors, Gov. McAuliffe continued to deny any wrongdoing on Wednesday.
"When Jill was recruited, there had been no stories out on the emails at all,” said McAuliffe. “It had not even been public yet so the idea that we got into a time machine and we knew what was going to happen down the road and we made a decision before anyone else on the globe even knew there was going to be an issue with emails, it's a joke. As I say, it's been so repudiated by so many journalists. Factcheck.org called it irresponsible journalism. And I've already spent too much time on it."
McAuliffe did spend time talking about the subway system in the D.C. area. Metro's board chair Jack Evans has been continuing to push for additional funding from all the jurisdictions to fix and maintain the troubled transit system. Evans has threatened service cutbacks on some of the lines that run through Virginia and Maryland. McAuliffe was not too happy about it.
“[Maryland] Governor [Larry] Hogan and myself do not like to be threatened,” said McAuliffe. “We are a big contributor to the Metro. We love the Metro and we will not be threatened. I reminded [Evans] that Governor Hogan and I together have a majority of the board, and if he wants to stay as chairman, he should not be threatening anybody. He ought to work in a collegial way to get us all together. We can get there.”
McAuliffe said he has invited Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld to come meet with lawmakers and transportation officials in Virginia.