CNBC’s Harwood Labels Clinton Friend/VA Gov. McAuliffe a Republican Under FBI Investigation

Breaking the news to CNBC viewers early Monday evening about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe being investigated by the FBI, chief Washington correspondent John Harwood slipped and referred to McAuliffe as “the second consecutive Republican Governor to face a corruption investigation” following predecessor and actual Republican Bob McDonnell.

Harwood was speaking to Fast Money co-host Melissa Lee when he claimed that “this is the second consecutive Republican Governor to face a corruption investigation” as “McDonnell was convicted of corruption charges” with McDonnell’s case recently heard by the Supreme Court.

Reportedly having to do with possible illegal campaign donations “from a Chinese businessman who does have a green card and from businesses associated with him,” Harwood was not corrected at any point by the show’s co-hosts as he continued to explain McAuliffe’s connections with Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

“Terry McAuliffe is a close ally with both Bill and Hillary Clinton and so that adds an extra dimension to it. He's served on the board of the Clinton Foundation — the Clinton Global Initiative which has been very significant in terms of criticism from Hillary Clinton, from her service as secretary of state and fund-raising issues,” he added.

Lee followed up by asking Harwood about an potential problems for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the now-infamous former GOP debate moderator predicted that if there’s a connection between potential illegal donations to McAuliffe and the presidential candidate, “that would be very problematic for Hillary Clinton.”

According to CNN, the investigation includes McAuliffe’s role on the Clinton Foundation board and thus could envelop the Clintons in a yet another scandal for 2016 to go in conjunction with the separate Clinton Foundation and e-mail server scandals.

Since the segment aired, Harwood owned up to the mistake in a series of tweets just after 6:00 p.m. Eastern time that he “misspoke to call McAuliffe 2nd consecutive R gov to face investigation” and “meant to say 2nd VA Gov.”

Harwood even joked in one of the tweets that his new slogan is “#TheAudacityToMisspeak.”

The relevant portion of the transcript from CNBC’s Fast Money on May 23 can be found below.

CNBC’s Fast Money
May 23, 2016
5:15 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: News Alert: McAuliffe Investigated for Possible Campaign Violations]

MELISSA LEE: We’ve got a news alert out of D.C. Let’s get to John Harwood with the details. John?

JOHN HARWOOD: Melissa, our colleague Pete Williams has confirmed that the FBI is investigating Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for potential illegal campaign contributions. The investigation is believed to involve donations from a Chinese businessman who does have a green card and from businesses associated with him. Now, this is the second consecutive Republican Governor to face a corruption investigation. Terry McAuliffe's predecessor, Bob McDonnell, was convicted of corruption charges. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: VA Gov Terry McAuliffe - NBC News]

Those are now on appeal. Terry McAuliffe is a close ally with both Bill and Hillary Clinton and so that adds an extra dimension to it. He's served on the board of the Clinton Foundation — the Clinton Global Initiative which has been very significant in terms of criticism from Hillary Clinton, from her service as secretary of state and fund-raising issues. So this is something to watch. No charges yet, but there is an investigation ongoing. 

LEE: Would it not be far off base, John, to extrapolate that some of the possible campaign violation donations were made to the Clinton campaign? 

HARWOOD: Too early to say. That we don't know. If, in fact there are charges in this case, and if they're in any way connected to the Clinton Foundation, that would be very problematic for Hillary Clinton, But that hasn't happened and we're just going to have to watch and see how this develops. 

LEE: John Harwood, thank you very much. John Harwood in D.C. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Labeling Name That Party Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNBC Fast Money Video Government & Press Clinton Foundation John Harwood Terry McAuliffe Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton
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