Trump-Bashing Democrat Terry McAuliffe Has His Own Trump Ties

Former Virginia Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is making another run for governor in the state, has spent the past week drawing connections between Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin and former President Donald Trump, but McAuliffe himself has his own ties to the former president.

The history between McAuliffe and Trump, as first detailed by Fox News, includes a $25,000 campaign donation, a friendly toast to Trump, and golfing — revelations that come after McAuliffe blasted Youngkin for earning an endorsement from the “ex Liar-In-Chief,” as McAuliffe calls Trump.

Following the endorsement announcement, McAuliffe proceeded to fire off at least nine tweets in a span of five days attaching the two Republicans’ names together, including:

McAuliffe’s furor against Trump and Youngkin, however, conflicts with past actions of the Virginia Democrat. During his failed first run for governor in 2009, McAuliffe accepted a $25,000 campaign donation from Trump, according to state financial records.

That same year, New York Times Magazine associated McAuliffe with Trump, writing, “McAuliffe moves in the rarefied atmosphere of big money and celebrity: Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Steven Spielberg are all part of his circle.”

In another indication of camaraderie, Trump and McAuliffe toasted to each other at the National Governors Association dinner in 2017. A transcript from the exchange, a video of which Reuters captured, is below:

TRUMP: Now I know it’s inappropriate, but I’d like to ask a friend of mine — I’ve just destroyed his political career — from the other side, a man from Virginia, I’ve known him a long time and he’s a very good guy, Gov. Terry McAuliffe to come up and also perhaps make a toast. Thank you.

MCAULIFFE: And I want to toast to you, Mr. President, and to say we want to work with you to build on those ideals that have instilled and brought all of us governors together that we can respectively grow our states and grow our nation to be truly the great destiny that we are, so I would like to offer a toast to the president of the United States of America.

In 2002, the two were also seen golfing together along with former President Bill Clinton in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Fox News report.

McAuliffe has not been formally nominated as the Democrat candidate for November’s gubernatorial election, but his name recognition in the state and his fundraising abilities position him as a frontrunner in the primary, which will take place in June.

Virginia Rising, an arm of the conservative research group America Rising, called McAuliffe’s attacks on Trump and Youngkin hypocritical. Executive Director Tucker Davis said, “Virginians deserve real leadership, and McAuliffe’s blatant hypocrisy and failed record should be disqualifying.”

When asked by Fox News about his ties to Trump, a spokesman for McAuliffe’s campaign did not acknowledge them, but instead told the outlet Trump is a “conspiratorial, disgraced, twice-impeached former president who attacked our democracy on Jan. 6 by peddling the Big Lie that Glenn Youngkin has made the centerpiece of his campaign.”

Youngkin, in reality, has never shown support for the “Big Lie” — a reference to voter fraud allegedly throwing the 2020 election — and has been relatively quiet about Trump backing him. Youngkin did not promote the endorsement on social media, and after local outlet WVEC appeared to ask him about it, Youngkin said he was “totally honored” and added, “We’ve received a lot of endorsements.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].


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