Despite the latest revelation into Gov. Bob McDonnell's legal trouble, his successor Gov.-Elect Terry McAuliffe continues to heap praise on the man he will replace.
McAuliffe spoke to reporters Thursday morning to announce the appointment of two cabinet secretaries. (Todd Haymore as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and Molly Ward for Secretary of Natural Resources) He was asked about his office's role in the McDonnell team's efforts to hold off on the governor and his wife facing federal charges.
The incoming chief executive said that no one connected to his administration played any role in helping McDonnell's lawyers delay the indictment. In fact McAuliffe claimed he learned of the news like everyone else.
"I read the stories today," McAuliffe said. "I can say again my heart goes out to the McDonnell family. Since Election Day governor McDonnell and his team have been nothing but spectacular to my team."
According to the Washington Post, McDonnell's lawyers pleaded with prosecutors to hold off on pressing charges and cited disrupting a smooth transition between administrations as part of the reason to slow the process down.
McAuliffe revealed that he and McDonnell actually met this week for more than an hour and half. That meeting included a 45 minute private session between the two and the investigation never came up.
McAuliffe also said he had no reason to believe there was a significant development in McDonnell's legal future on the horizon.
"Rumors have been going around forever and ever," McAuliffe said. "But I don't pay much attention to rumors. You can't be in this business and pay attention to rumors."
McAuliffe remains focused on taking office and despite his trouble, he said McDonnell has made the transition process an easy one.
"I've got to let the judicial system play itself out and we will see what happens," he said. "I got to tell you the McDonnell administration and his whole cabinet have done nothing but make this probably the smoothest transition we've had in Virginia history".
The Post said the Feds don't plan on moving forward until at least January 2nd. The process might not be fully resolved until February.
McAuliffe's full remarks on the McDonnell legal situation can be found below: