St. Martin's Press

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."

Go deeper

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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