Scoop: Terry McAuliffe book tells of Trump call amid racial violence
Terry McAuliffe remembered the "Operator 1" calls from the days when President Bill Clinton would ring him at 1 a.m.
- Now, McAuliffe was Virginia's 72nd governor. President Donald Trump was calling about the racist violence that had exploded that day in Charlottesville.
McAuliffe — who tells the story in his book coming July 16, "Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism" — was about to give a press conference. Trump, who was at his club in Bedminster, N.J., was also about to speak. McAuliffe told the president to go first, and said he'd wait.
- Watching on TV as he prepared to go to the microphones, McAuliffe then saw Trump blame "many sides."
- "I fully believed he’d do the right thing," McAuliffe told me in an interview. "I was shocked."
- "There was so many lessons learned coming out of Charlottesville," the former governor added. "I had the front-row seat, calling the shots. Someone had to write it."
The book, from the Thomas Dunne Books imprint of St. Martin’s Press, is — sadly — newly relevant after the blackface controversy in the government he left behind. Gov. Ralph Northam was lieutenant governor under McAuliffe.
- McAuliffe, who had been working on the book for the past nine or 10 months, is likely to add an epilogue on the scandal.
- "It's embarrassing," McAuliffe said. "It's a state that I'm very proud of."